Spotlight Activity: How German Businesses are Meeting the Paris Agreement Goals
German politicians are not trying to urgently pursue efforts that limit the global temperature to 1.5 °C. The new government lacks a clear plan to redeem the image of the country as a world leader in reducing emissions. There are no immediate plans on emission reduction and increases in energy efficiency. The new government has even decided to shelf its self-imposed 2020 emission reduction targets. Although, the Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to invest more in cheap renewable energy based on market principles, her speech in parliament did not last long enough to explain how. Critics said her short speech demonstrated a lack of seriousness in meeting the Paris agreement goals. But, behind the scenes, large German companies have made plans to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris agreement. About 30 Germany’s DAX companies have set ambitious carbon emission reduction targets based on the Paris agreement goals.
For instance, Adidas is working together with its suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain and it has in the last five years reduced emissions by 21 %. Henkel, a detergent and glue maker company has set a goal of reducing emissions by 75 % by 2030. SAP, a software company, is also planning to ensure its operations are climate-neutral by 2025. These companies are planning on how to introduce a single carbon pricing system that accommodates all the sectors of the economy. Andreas Kuhlmann, head of the German Energy Agency said that, “the existing carbon pricing system is complex, and it does not reflect any transparency because it has overlapping taxes, levies and subsidies which makes it difficult to reduce emissions.”
Status: Right Direction
German corporations are moving in the right direction. The 30 DAX companies have demonstrated their seriousness in meeting the Paris agreement even without government intervention. This should be a lesson to the government which seems to lack a clear plan on how to redeem its image in the international scene by setting clear plans on how to meet the Paris Agreement. The government should consider supporting the efforts of these large corporations in meeting their emission reduction targets.
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Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
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Address: Bahnhofstraße 9, 48143 Münster