New German government not yet making full use of the potential momentum for climate action

Press release

Diese Pressemitteilung ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

While the newly-elected German government is significantly accelerating domestic climate policy implementation, it needs to take more action to achieve its 2030 target, which itself would need to be stronger to get emissions onto a 1.5˚C compatible pathway, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s latest analysis, published today.

However, there are also worrying moves by the government’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including a temporary tax reduction on petrol and diesel, raising the commuter support or the fast expansion of LNG import infrastructure and new LNG supply contracts, which risks a lock-in of fossil fuels.

If Germany implements all the measures set out in the coalition contract and detailed thereafter, it would get close to its domestic emissions target of a 65% reduction below 1990 levels in 2030. But to “overachieve” this target, as the government has promised, and to make a 1.5°C compatible contribution, more action is necessary. The government now needs to ensure that in all sectors the planned and new measures are effectively implemented, to overachieve the 2030 targets.

The CAT has given Germany an overall rating of “Insufficient,” two CAT ratings below a “1.5 compatible” rating. To be 1.5˚C Paris Agreement compatible, Germany would need to reduce emissions by at least 69% domestically by 2030 and provide significantly more climate finance to other countries.

“While Germany is taking positive measures to cope with Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, such as its new plans to expand renewables, there are also a number of negatives that are counterproductive to climate policy,” said Prof. Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute, a CAT partner organisation. “Measures to save energy are lagging behind.”

Negative examples of recent policy moves in reaction to the energy crisis are the agreed temporary tax reduction on petrol and diesel, and raising support for commuters and massive expansion of LNG terminals and proposed gas deals with Senegal, Qatar and the US.

In the international space, the recent suggestion by the Chancellor Scholz to support extraction of fossil gas in Senegal and roll back the decision to stop financing fossil fuel projects abroad was a major step backwards. If it becomes government policy it would contradict the G7 Climate, Environment and Energy Minister’s plan to no longer support fossils overseas after 2022, the analysis says.

“Gas is not a bridge fuel, it is a fossil fuel, and proposals for massive new gas developments around the world, including in Senegal and Western Australia, will undermine global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°," said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, a CAT partner organisation.

“I hope German Chancellor Scholz withdraws his proposal to support a massive LNG development in Senegal. The G7 Environment Ministers’ agreement last weekend - to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas from the end of this year - is groundbreaking, and should not be undermined by any country, especially this year's G7 host, Germany."

“Germany urgently needs to increase its contribution to global climate finance: instead of funding countries to extract gas, it should be fully focussed on making finance available for the transition to renewables. This would help keep African fossil fuels in the ground and, according to our recent analysis, provide more jobs, more sustainably, also for Senegal,” said Hare.

Stay informed

Subscribe to our newsletter