According to a recent study ordered by the Federal Environmental Agency CO2-emissions in Germany have decreased by 4.3 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. That makes a total of 41 million tons of CO2. More importantly: In 2014 CO2 emissions by households, transports and industry added up to 912 million tons of CO2 – a reduction of 27 percent compared to 1990 and the first decline since 2010. Until 2020 Germany has set the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990.
The decline however is not due to revolutionary savings by enforcing renewable energies, less coal-based electricity or even a higher price for CO2-emission certificates. No, this decline has been caused by something more trivial. Environment minister Barbara Hendricks has put it like this: “The trend finally goes in the right direction. The majority of the reduction is due to the mild winter in 2014. But a part of the reduction is thanks to real process in climate protection.” So really it sounds like this: The last German winter just was not cold enough. People simply didn’t heat as much as usual. Not only the cynic may now say: Warm winters show the reality of climate change.
Nevertheless, a reduction of CO2-emissions is always good news. So let’s not sit back and take things easy but continue compensating. German economics minister Sigmar Gabriel finally got it and proposes eliminating CO2-emissions certificates. TheCompensators* approve – obviously! That’s how energy transition works!
For more information check out the Federal Environment Agency’s official statement (in German).