German climate law draft calls for net-zero emissions by 2050

(Climate Change News, 25 Feb 2019) The environment ministry is calling to hike the target to 95% and ensure that any remaining emissions are removed.

German environment minister Svenja Schulze is calling for an ambitious goal to cut emissions by “at least 95%” by 2050 and remove the remainder from the atmosphere, in a draft of the highly anticipated Climate Action Law seen by Clean Energy Wire.

The text would hike Germany’s mid-century target to the higher end of its current goal for cutting emissions, compared to 1990 levels. But the additional call for greenhouse gas neutrality means the equivalent of any remaining emissions would need to be absorbed and either stored or used.

It is uncertain whether the draft can become law in its current form. The lawmaking process has only just begun, and parts of chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives have already heavily criticised key elements of the text.

Germany currently aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050, the same as the EU’s overall goal. The European Commission is pushing its members to raise that goal to net-zero.

Merkel said in 2017 that Germany would have to decide an exact target in the current legislative period.

But the proposal is certain to generate heated debate both within the government coalition and in parliament. The Climate Action Law is meant to guarantee that Germany fulfils its national and European climate targets.

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Climate Change News, 26 Feb 2019: German climate law draft calls for net-zero emissions by 2050