Greenhouse gas emissions
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Sectoral greenhouse gas emissions
The government coalition has repeatedly committed itself to the goal of climate neutrality in 2045. In the short and medium term, however, it has not set any new targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Sectoral emission reduction targets are already set by 2030 under the Federal Climate Protection Act, which was last amended on August 18, 2021. Thereafter, the law sets annual greenhouse gas emissions targets without sectoral resolution through 2040, with net greenhouse gas neutrality to be achieved by 2045. The figure shows sectoral emissions since 1990 and medium- and longer-term targets, based on data from the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions were more than 40 percent below those of the 1990 reference year, thus achieving a longer-term climate policy goal. However, the significant pandemic-related reduction in economic activity in 2020 contributed significantly to this. The strong emissions reductions in 2020 also shape the trend for 2017-2021 shown in the figure. Emissions were rising again in 2021 as the economy recovered.
CO2 emissions of electricity generation
There is no explicit target set by the German government for the CO2 emissions of electricity generation. The draft of the EEG 2023 contained a target of "almost complete greenhouse gas neutrality" of electricity generation by 2035; however, this wording is not included in the final Bundestag resolution. Previously, at the G7 summit in Elmau, it was already decided to "fully or predominantly decarbonize" the power sector by 2035. The figure therefore shows an indicative target value of zero CO2 emissions in 2035.
The absolute CO2 emissions (in million metric tons) and CO2 emissions intensity (in g/kWh) of Germany's electricity generation are calculated annually by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The absolute emissions in 2020 were about 52 percent of the emissions in 1990, and the emissions intensity was about 49 percent (excluding upstream chain emissions). However, these values were also particularly low due to the pandemic, and emissions rose again in 2021 (to about 60 percent of 1990 emissions, or 55 percent of emissions intensity).