Germany’s new climate minister says the nation faces a “huge” task as it grapples with meeting goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while secure enough energy to power energy-hungry industries.
Robert Habeck of the Greens told reporters in Berlin that Germany is on path to halve its emissions by 2030 to 1990 from 1990 levels, significantly short of the government’s goal of 65 percent.
Pandemic-driven effects, which enabled Germany to reach its interim target of a 40% reduction by 2020, were disjointed for the past year, bringing another increase in emissions by 2021.
A reason behind growing emissions in Germany is the decision to shut down all nuclear power plants by the end of this year, increasing dependency on coal power stations.
The government plans to phase out coal “ideally” by 2030 and fill the gap with less environmentally hazardous natural gas, allowing for sufficient renewables to satisfy Europe’s largest economy.
Currently, renewable energies such as solar and wind power deliver around 43 percent of Germany’s electricity, yet this proportion would have to nearly double to 80 percent by 2030, Habeck said.
He pointed out that during that period the electricity consumption will increase considerably if people switch from Internally Controlled Engine (AIR) vehicles to electric cars and oil heat their homes with electric heat pumps.
“You can see the task is big, gigantic,” Habeck said, adding that the country faces a “huge political debate” about what to do to attain its objectives.