German officials propose CO2 reduction methods

Working group urges measures to improve domestic, traffic, industrial energy use

Domestic energy efficiency has the "greatest potential" to achieve desired reductions in Germany's greenhouse gas emissions, according to a draft report by a government working group. In a raft of long- and short-term proposals published earlier this week, the interministerial working group on climate protection has focused on carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions and on housing, traffic and industry as key energy-saving areas.

The report also argues that Germany could double cogeneration and renewable energy use by 2010, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2020.

Its proposals are intended to help define climate protection targets ahead of a national strategy to be published later this year. Germany is committed to achieving a 21% reduction in emissions of six greenhouse gases by 2008-2012 under the Kyoto protocol and has a national CO2 reduction target of 25% by 2005.

Greater domestic energy efficiency could be achieved through an energy-saving ordinance to be adopted later this year (ENDS Daily 3 September 1999), a commitment by the electrical and electronic goods industry to improve the energy efficiency of household devices, stronger systems of energy credits and energy efficiency assessments, and a public information campaign by the environment ministry.

Traffic growth "presents the largest challenge" for Germany's climate protection strategy, according to the working group. This mirrors the emphasis of the national programme recently unveiled by Denmark (ENDS Daily 29 March). The German recommendations include the introduction of air traffic emissions limits, an agreed climate commitment statement by rail company Deutsche Bahn, and better integration of climate protection targets in construction and land planning. Industry needs to contribute to climate protection through wider use of renewable energy, more energy efficiency assessments, and better training, the group adds.

Follow Up:
German environment ministry, tel: +49 30 28 55 00.

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