Germany

Critically Insufficient4°C+
World
NDCs with this rating fall well outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would exceed 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming of greater than 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Highly insufficient< 4°C
World
NDCs with this rating fall outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach between 3°C and 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Insufficient< 3°C
World
NDCs with this rating are in the least stringent part of a country’s “fair share” range and not consistent with holding warming below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming over 2°C and up to 3°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
2°C Compatible< 2°C
World
NDCs with this rating are consistent with the 2009 Copenhagen 2°C goal and therefore fall within a country’s “fair share” range, but are not fully consistent with the Paris Agreement long term temperature goal. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming could be held below, but not well below, 2°C and still be too high to be consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with holding warming below, but not well below, 2°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDCs in the most stringent part of its “fair share” range: it is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
Role model<< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDC is more ambitious than what is considered a “fair” contribution: it is more than consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. No “role model” rating has been developed for the sectors.

Summary table

Paris Agreement targets

The German Parliament unanimously ratified the Paris Agreement in September 2016. Germany did not submit its own NDC, but is part of the EU, which committed to reducing emissions by “at least 40%” below 1990 levels by 2030 (UNFCCC, 2015).

National targets 2020, 2030 and 2040

In its Climate Action Plan 2050 (German Ministry of Environment, 2016) Germany had set itself domestic reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040, of which only the target for 2030 is now pursued.

The German government had already communicated that it would not reach its former 2020 target of at least 40% reductions below 1990 levels and pre-pandemic policy projections suggested that only a 36-37% reduction would be reached. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis, we find that Germany is now very likely to reach this target.

The emissions reduction target for 2030 is 55% below 1990 levels, which is now inscribed in the climate law, that was adopted in December 2019 (German Government, 2019a). However, it would need to be strengthened to be compatible with the Paris Agreement (Höhne et al., 2019).

The former target of a 70% reduction by 2040 below 1990 levels was dropped in the climate law, as a “more ambitious target will be needed” (German Federal Ministry for the Environment Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, 2019).

Long-term goal

The climate law includes “the commitment to pursue greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 as a long-term goal” (German Government, 2019b). This now formally replaces the earlier goal of an 80% to 95% reduction.

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