Germany "set to miss" CO2 reduction goal

Progress now too slow after big emissions cuts in early 1990s, says independent institute

Germany is unlikely to hit its national carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction target of 25% by 2005, according to the German institute for economic research DIW. The conclusion contradicts official optimism that the goal will be met, including a bullish statement issued by former environment minister Angela Merkel in 1998 (ENDS Daily 15 July 1998).

According to DIW, German CO2 emissions in 1999 were down 15.5% on 1990 levels, the baseline year for the 2005 target. But it also shows that most of this reduction was achieved in the early 1990s, when the economy of the former East Germany suffered a huge economic contraction. Emissions fell 3% from 1998 to 1999, DIW reports, but it says that warmer weather masked an actual fall nearer to 1.8%.

"We will only get near the emission target if efforts on climate policy are rapidly and significantly intensified," the institute concluded in its report.

Follow Up:
DIW, tel: +49 30 897 890. The report is available here.

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