(Bloomberg) – Germany acknowledges that its efforts to tighten its climate policy are getting ahead of schedule, adding to the risk that the EU Green Agreement is also delayed.
The government in Berlin said it would spend more than half a year on the European Union’s deadline to submit a climate and energy policy plan that spans the next decade. Officials are being detained by work on legislation to scrap coal as a power plant fuel and by administrative delays caused by coronavirus outbreaks.
“We are still working on it and dealing with the commission,” Beate Baron, a spokesman for the German Ministry of Economy and Energy, said on Tuesday. “The problem is the coal exit law. Until this law passes through parliament, we cannot send a final projection for national emission reductions. “
This delay highlights the challenges faced by the 27-European Union countries not only to ensure it remains on track for existing environmental targets but also to agree to more stringent targets under the Green Deal. Europe wants to be the first climate neutral continent by the middle of this century, a goal that the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has never achieved before by accelerating the current rate of emission reduction.
The Commission wants to strengthen the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 50% or even 55% from 1990 levels. This compares with the existing 40% target. To ensure that the current targets are met, all member countries are required to submit at the end of last year their plans for the period 2021-2030. The proposals are intended to show what steps they will take to reduce pollution, increase the share of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency. Five countries, including Germany and France, have not complied.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to pass a law in May about coal removal faces huge hiccups after lawmakers urged more compensation to close some factories. The law stipulates a road map to close more than 100 fossil fuel factories by 2038. Because of the delay, it may not be signed by two chambers of parliament before the summer break in July.
The German energy sector must cut emissions to 175 million tons per year in 2030 from 280 million tons by 2020, according to the national climate plan. Most of that must be borne by the coal exit.
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