Germany Germany

Germany rises six spots to rank 13th and sit among the high-performing countries in this year’s CCPI.

In contrast with last year, Germany receives a high rating in the highest weighted category, GHG Emissions. There it shows relatively high performance in the GHG per Capita current trend indicator, as emissions decreased in 2019. It receives a medium in the remaining Renewable Energy, Energy Use, and Climate Policy categories.

In 2021, Germany decided on more ambitious climate targets because of a ruling by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court. After this, the government set the goal of reducing emissions 65% by 2030 compared with the 1990 level, and it set its net zero target for 2045. The CCPI experts welcome the new climate ambition but call for more ambitious measures to achieve the target. Studies from the government itself clearly shows that Germany will miss the targets with its existing policies, and it will even miss the older 55% reduction target. The new government should act quickly to fix past failures.The experts ask for a quicker coal phase out and to phase-out harmful fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible. Many bureaucratic and legislative obstacles, especially for onshore wind, will need to be removed to greatly increase renewable energies. Particularly, decarbonisation of the transport sector must be accelerated. Massive investment in fossil-free infrastructure for rail and bikes is demanded. The experts also see the need to reduce buildings emissions and to invest in building modernisation to enhance energy efficiency.

Germany is a progressive player in climate negotiations; it receives a high rating the in International Climate Policy indicator. Despite this, the experts wish the country would take an ambitious frontrunner role in climate policy in the future. In 2021’s federal election campaign, almost all parties committed to climate action and the Paris Agreement. The experts expect the parties to maintain these promises in the new government.

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: Björn Ecklundt, Malte Hentschke (Klima-Allianz); Sebastian Scholz (NABU); Eva Schmid, Manfred Treber (Germanwatch)

Technical note: how to read the target comparison graph

The graph above shows the development of a country over the past years compared with its Paris compatible pathway and 2030 target. For all three quantitative categories of the CCPI, this visualisation gives an overview of where a country is right now, where it would need to be to fulfil the Paris Agreement promises and where it aims to be in 2030.

For GHG emissions per capita, the data includes LULUCF, as used for the emissions per capita indicator. This leads to the vast changes in emissions of some countries with high forest coverage. The calculation of individual country target pathways is based on the common but differentiated convergence approach (CDC). It is based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” laid forth in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All Annex I countries therefore have a decreasing pathway from 1990 onwards, starting at that year’s emissions. 60 years later, in 2050, these countries are expected to reach net zero emissions. All other countries, which did not reach the level of global average emissions in 1990, are allowed to increase emissions until the average is reached. But by latest 2015 these countries, too, have decreasing pathways and 60 years to reach net zero. These pathways start from the global average.

The Renewable Energy data is given in per cent of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and includes hydro energy, consistent with the respective CCPI indicator. As global distribution of Renewables (especially solar and wind) only started in the 2000s, the pathways in this category start in 2010. All countries have an equal goal: 100% Renewables in 2050, each starting from its 2010 value.

For Energy Use the Primary Energy Supply per capita is shown. All pathways for this category start at country’s 1990 values and meet at global average of 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES. For 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, a decrease in emissions by reducing the (growth in) energy use is as crucial as deploying renewable (or other low-carbon) technologies. The IPCC carried out a scenario comparison using a large number of integrated assessment models. From the scenarios available, we observe that the total amount of global energy use in 2050 has to be roughly the same level or a bit higher than it is today, with a margin of uncertainty. At the same time population will grow slightly between today and 2050. We therefore pragmatically chose the well-below-2° compatible benchmark to be “same energy use per capita in 2050 as the current global average”, which is 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.