Germany remains a relatively high performer in this year’s CCPI, despite a three-spot drop from last year, to 16th. In contrast with last year, Germany receives a high rating in the GHG Emissions category. In Renewable Energy, Energy Use, and Climate Policy, it receives a medium.
The slowed expansion of renewables until 2020 and the high rebound of emissions in the transport sector in 2021 are the main reasons for the overall lower ranking. At the same time, Germany rises seven ranks in the Climate Policy category caused by the improvements the new government has implemented over the past year, getting Germany back on track. The CCPI experts welcome the new laws under the “Easter Package” that the federal government adopted in spring 2022.
Expansion of renewables can pick up speed
The newly elected government has been in place for about a year and has implemented some positive climate policy measures. Notably, expansion of renewable energy can again pick up speed. Germany has specific yearly reduction targets for its GHG emissions, but the CCPI experts criticise that the recent energy crisis has shown these policies are not robust enough as Germany has plans to invest in alternative fossil fuel sources and new LNG infrastructure to compensate the lack of Russian gas.
The experts criticise Germany’s reaction to the energy crisis by turning to countries such as Senegal to develop new gas reserves and Colombia to mine additional coal. The experts demand government policies to phase out all fossil fuels faster, stop fossil fuel subsidies and push more towards implementing renewable energy. Germany has adopted a legislated coal phase-out by 2038 and the new government announced in the coalition agreement its intention to bring forward the coal phase-out to 2030. Yet it remains among the nine countries responsible for 90% of global coal production. This is incompatible with the 1.5°C target.
Transport sector lags behind
In agriculture, animal production and farming on peat soils are the main emitters. The government recently released a strategy to re-wet peatland currently used as grassland and arable land. The CCPI experts note that, at the same time, there is no plan in place to reduce the high animal numbers and those current actions to re-wet peatlands are not yet sufficient. The common agriculture policy was under revision, but the CCPI experts criticise the lack of significant progress.
Transportation is still the sector with the least emissions reduction in Germany. The experts demand stronger regulations, the phase-out of fossil fuel cars, highway speed limits, and more support for the public transportation system.
Germany is a progressive player in climate negotiations, and it receives a high rating in the international climate policy indicator. Still, the CCPI experts wish the country would take an even more ambitious role in climate policy and establish the climate foreign policy concept promised by the new foreign minister.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI:
- Sebastian Scholz (NABU)
- Manfred Treber (Germanwatch)