2020 Climate Targets

Spotlight Issue: Germany 2020 Climate Targets

Germany is likely to miss its self-imposed emission reduction targets of 40% by 2020, which had put the country on the world stage. The ministry of environment (BMUB) indicates that emission reduction may end up at 33 percent instead of 40% if no extra measures are undertaken to meet the 2020 targets. “Germany’s failure to fulfill the emission reduction targets it has set for 2020 will make the Country lose its political, economic credibility and effectiveness in international climate negotiations. Postponing the meeting of the 2020 climate targets is more costly and disadvantageous to the whole economy,” energy economist Claudia Kemfert says. Thus, to reach the 2020 targets, Germany needs to reduce approximately 156 million tonnes of CO2.

There are a number of measures that can be introduced such as tax credits on diesel cars, energy efficient buildings and use of e-cars but are only suitable for the 2030 goals but not the 2020 goals. The only measure suitable for the 2020 targets is a coal exit. Claudia Kemfert says that “a coal exit should be initiated to avert the failure to meet 2020 targets”. However, exit from coal energy production requires a systematic approach due to the economics losses that are likely to occur such as job losses at the coal companies and the increase in electricity prices due to lower energy supplies. If a quick exit from coal production occurs, increase in electricity prices will lead to energy insecurity which is likely to reduce the competitiveness of industries in Germany. Michael Schäfer of the World Wildlife fund proposes the use of an overall meaningful approach under an emergency programme for our climate policy.

Status: Falling Behind

Germany has made very little attempts in mapping out a coal exit plan. The country has largely continued to rely on coal for power but talked more about reducing emission reductions by setting targets such as the 40% by 2020 with very little actions to actualize it. Furthermore, the coalition negotiators for Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democratic Party have agreed that meeting 2020 targets maybe impossible. However, missing 2020 targets will hurt Germany’s position in the world and will also affect the consecutive 2030 and 2050 targets set to meet the Paris agreement. Germany falls behind in meeting of the Paris agreement goals because it casts a doubt in the achievement of 2020 targets, which creates some sort of mistrust in its commitment to meet future goals e.g.2030, 2050 targets.

Take Action

Personal letters, emails and phone calls have the most influence and impact on decision makers and policy makers so we encourage you to contact each individual directly. However if you don’t have time, fill out your name and email and click below and the message will be sent on behalf of yourself and Climate Scorecard.

Hold the coalition government accountable by ensuring a coal exit is initiated in 2018 to help meet the Paris agreement goals.

Send Action Alert Messages to:


Renewable Energies Agency (Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien e.V.)
Philipp Vohrer , Managing Director
Email: p.vohrer@unendlich-viel-energie.de
10115 Berlin

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs
Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
Web: http://www.bmwi.de/Navigation/EN/Ministry/Minister/minister.html
Tel: +49 (0) 30 18 615 -6121 or -6131
Contact form: https://www.bmwi.de/Navigation/EN/Service/Contact/contact.html
Address: BMWi Main Building, Entrance Invalidenstraße. 48, Berlin


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