Germany says climate measures will narrow but not fully close the country's emissions gap by 2030

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FILE - Roberto Chudzinski checks solar modules on the roof of the Soemtron AG in Soemmerda, Germany, on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. German officials said Wednesday, June 14, 2023, that an array of climate measures being introduced by the government will bring the country closer but not all the way toward meeting its national goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

BERLIN – An array of climate measures being introduced by Germany's government will bring the country closer but not all the way toward meeting its national goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, officials said Wednesday.

Germany's Climate Ministry said that measures already in place or soon to become law will reduce emissions by about 900 million metric tons of carbon dioxide for the period from 2022 to 2030 — about 80% of the 1,100 million tons of the planet-warming gas the government is aiming to cut.

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An “emissions gap” of about 200 million tons of CO2 will remain and needs to be closed through additional steps over the coming years, largely because of persistent high emissions in the transportation sector.

Germany's national climate plan aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 65% from 1990 levels by 2030. The target for 2040 is an 88% reduction on the path to ”net zero" emissions by 2045.

A sharp increase in wind and solar power, energy efficiency improvements and subsidies for industry to reduce fossil fuel use are among the measures taken or planned by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government since it took office in late 2021.

“The political message is that, when I became a minister, achieving the climate targets looked impossible,” Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck told reporters in Berlin.

“For the first time, I would say, it is possible to keep to the climate targets,” added Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Greens who is also Germany's vice chancellor. “The art of making things possible consists in not easing off now; I would say that we have put the ship back on course, and of course it is important now to pick up speed.”

After months of haggling that helped push down the governing coalition's poll ratings, leaders of the three-party alliance also reached a compromise this week over plans to replace old fossil fuel heating systems with cleaner alternatives such as heat pumps. Habeck acknowledged that concrete details still have to be worked out in the coming weeks.

Environmental groups have criticized the compromise on heating systems and a decision by the government to drop binding sector-specific emissions goals in favor of a more general target.

Meanwhile, Germany's solar industry warned Wednesday that it urgently needs more workers to meet demand for photovoltaic installations in the coming years.

Solar industry lobby group BSW said that companies need to hire about 100,000 skilled workers as annual installations are expected to rise to 26 gigawatts by 2026 from 7.4 GW last year.


Geir Moulson contributed to this report.


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