Germany exceeds 2020 climate target – with help of pandemic

Germany slightly exceeded its climate target for 2020 with the help of travel restrictions and other stoppages prompted by the pandemic.

Germany emitted some 739 million tons of greenhouse gases last year – around 70 million tons less than in 2019, according to the German Environment Agency UBA, which presented an annual report on the basis of the Climate Protection Act of 2019 for the first time on Tuesday.

Compared to 1990 emissions levels, Germany’s output fell by 40.8 per cent, slightly higher than its goal of a decrease of 40 per cent. The UBA referred to it as the largest annual decline since German reunification.

The agency said that an estimated third of the reductions had come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We can see that climate policy instruments are beginning to take effect, in particular the expansion of renewable energies and CO2 pricing. But without the lockdowns placing restrictions on production and mobility, Germany would have missed its climate target for 2020,” the UBA’s Dirk Messner said.

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