If Germany is to meet up with the expectations of the new IPCC report, a reasonable amount of investment should be re-directed into the improvement of the energy sector. Efforts should be focused on energy production and consumption. On the production side, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power should be subsidized and subsidies on fossil fuels should be scrapped. Germany’s coal exit plan should be implemented. The coal exit commission should compromise and agree on a coal exit path to end the mining of the most important fossil fuel in Germany. If the coal exit effort fails, then climate protection in Germany should be regarded as a failed effort, as meeting its Paris Agreement pledge would be difficult. Further, regarding nuclear power, Germany should go ahead and implement its plan to shut down nuclear reactors by 2022.
On the consumption side Germany should focus on energy efficiency in buildings. The buildings sector accounts for about one-third of the global energy consumption and one-quarter of total greenhouse gases (Barclay and Irfan, 2018). To be able to lower temperatures to 1.5oC, indoor heating and cooling demands should be reduced to one-third by 2050. Efficient energy technologies such as double-pane glass windows and energy saving domestic appliances should be recommended. Therefore, renovation of old buildings and fitting them with energy efficient appliances should be a major energy policy priority. Additionally, the transport sector should end the sale and use of cars, trucks and buses that rely on fossil fuels as source of energy. Instead the country should opt for electric vehicles that use renewable energy sources.
Activity Rating: ** Standing Still
Although German parliament has already debated the IPCC report, clear efforts are yet to be discussed. Targets to be met in the short and long term are yet to be reviewed. An article in cleanenergywire.org describes the failure of efficient buildings law and the chaos that surrounds the coal exit commission a major roadblock. The energy efficient buildings law proposed by Germany’s interior (BMI), economy and energy (BMWi) ministries does not tighten energy standards for new buildings. Also, the German government plans to postpone the deadline for the conclusion by the coal exit commission from December to January 2019. It is not even clear that by January a decision will be made. So far, three German federal states have requested an elaborate plan on how affected regions will manage the coal phase-out, meaning there is still a lot to be done.
To support the new IPCC report send the following message to the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy and Minister for Environment Schulze:
We congratulate and acknowledge the parliamentary debate of the IPCC report. However, steps need to be undertaken to reduce emissions in the energy, buildings and transport sector. The coal exit commission should conclude its activities. Ways should be sought that help reach a compromise with federal states in East German. Investment on policies that develop technologies to improve renewable energy, feed-in tariffs and investment in tax credits should be increased. Overall, efforts on coal, buildings and cars sectors of the economy as described in this report should be hastened.
Peter Altmaier – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
Scharnhorststraße 34-37, 10115 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 3018 615-0
Fax: +49 (0) 3018 615-7010
Svenja Schulze – Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, BMUB
Address: Robert-Schuman-Platz 3, 53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 22899 305-0
Email: Klimawandel.Deutsche Anpassungsstrategie@bmub.bund.de