Germany sets new target for achieving net zero greenhouse emission

Germany has adjusted its timeline for achieving zero carbon emission. The new target has been moved back by 5 years. This means the European country now has until 2045 to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the shortest timeline out of all the countries with the largest economies. By comparison, China has committed to the same goal but for 2060 while the US only wants to half its total emission by 2030.

Germany has its work cut out for it achieving such ambitious goals but its lawmakers are already at work making climate policies that will ensure this happens. The scope will have to cover more than just the power sector as Germany is a heavily industrialized nation.

image source: IAE

To get to net zero emissions, analysts have proposed several approaches Germany can take. One strategy is to double the rate at which emissions are cut down through the next 25 years. This can be done by aggressively promoting renewable energy sources for both domestic and industrial applications. At the same time, non-renewable energy has to be phased out. For instance, all coal powered energy plants would have to be completely shut by 2030.

Another source of pollution Germany has to tackle is transportation. Electric vehicles will need to become more prevalent, in the tens of millions, with the required support infrastructure. While auto groups have lobbied hard against previous efforts to cut down pollution from the sector, things appear to have started changing as big name auto makers like Volkswagen and Daimler AG have announced plans to electrify their product line ups. The climate has become more conducive for an ICE ban, like it has happened in the UK, where sales of new ICE vehicles will be banned from 2030.

In the new climate policy being drafted, Germany will cut emissions by 65% by 2030, using the levels in 1990 as a reference, up from 55% in previous policies. As things stand, emission levels are 40% lower, using the same reference year.

Germany’s move is expected to have positive effects on other countries as they set their emissions mandates. “Germany and the U.K., along with the reinvigorated U.S., will pile on pressure on countries such as Japan that have not unveiled all the details of how they plan to meet net-zero goals,” explained Richard Black, senior associate at the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit.