Germany ranks 14th in this year´s CCPI.
The country receives a medium ranking in all four CCPI index categories: Renewable Energy, GHG Emissions, Climate Policy, and Energy Use.
Buildings and transport sectors are falling short
The CCPI country experts unanimously report that the current German government shows a slightly better performance than the previous one. However, different interests among the three coalition partners are preventing more ambitious climate policies. Such policies are needed because Germany will fail to achieve its official target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, according to recent reports by government climate advisors and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).
Particularly, the buildings and transport sectors are falling short. Moreover, the government changed the climate change law so that, instead of each sector reporting on its progress towards the climate targets, now only the overall progress for meeting the target is reported. In this way, sectors can compensate for each other, leading to a lack of accountability, according to the experts. In public debate, social policies and climate policies seem to be played out against each other, creating a lack of support, such as for renewing heating systems. So, while the new government has accelerated progress on climate legislation, Germany is not on a track towards reducing global warming to 1.5°C.
The geopolitical situation has affected Germany’s energy politics. While an earlier phasing out of coal energy production was agreed upon (2030 instead of 2038), two coal-fired power plants are being kept in operation longer than previously planned. The Russian war against Ukraine has also let Germany recognize renewable energies as strategically important for securing energy independence and lowering its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
Policies adopted to accelerate the expansion of renewables
Several policies have been adopted to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy, but Germany remains one of the nine countries responsible for 90% of global coal production, and four new LNG terminals have been built in the North Sea. Several reports, including one by the New Climate Institute, have shown that the construction of new LNG terminals is undermining the energy transition. This is because Germany could import almost two-thirds more fossil gas by land and sea than it currently consumes if all the terminals are fully operational. The CCPI experts are divided on this issue, with some pointing to the increased energy security that comes with more gas, while others warn that building new LNG infrastructure creates the risk of carbon lock-in and stranded assets.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: