Germany set to miss net zero by 2045 target as climate efforts falter

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is failing to cut emissions in the transport and building sector, a report by government climate advisers shows.

German goals to cut greenhouse emissions by 65% by 2030 are likely to be missed, meaning a longer-term net zero by 2045 target is also in doubt, reports by government climate advisers and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) show.

The European Union has sought to be a climate leader and Germany has set itself more ambitious targets than the bloc as a whole, but in many countries politics and the economic crisis have pushed the climate crisis down the agenda.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 65% by 2030 compared with 1990. Last year its CO2 levels were already 40% below the 1990 level, but the new reports said that was not enough.

“The expected overall reduction is probably overestimated,” Hans-Martin Henning, the chairman of a council of climate experts that advises the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Failing net zero plan

The German government has ordered 130 measures in various sectors. The buildings and transport sectors in particular are failing to implement them, the council of government climate advisers’ report said.

The buildings sector is expected to be 35 million tonnes of CO2 short of target by 2030, while the transport sector is expected to have excess emissions of between 117 million and 191 million tonnes compared with the government target.

Tuesday’s advisers’ report coincided with another from the UBA that found Germany cannot become climate neutral by 2045 on the basis of planned and existing government climate policy.

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It drafted two scenarios, one for current policy and one for planned, that found only 82% and 86% of targeted emissions cuts compared to 1990, would be achieved.

“According to the current status, Germany would still emit 229 million tonnes of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions in the target year 2045,” the UBA report found.

Government promises

The economy ministry said policies it has implemented since the current government took office in late 2021 would cut around 80% of the surplus CO2 emissions it said were a legacy of

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