I am following up on a post in which I have taken a look on how Europe is doing regarding its own climate action commitments for 2030 and 2050. Bottom line: Not too good. But there are good news hidden in the historical data. Let me explain.
With the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework the European Union (EU) sets itself a binding target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Consistent with the Paris Agreement the EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050. I wondered what those goals really mean in absolute terms, and whether we are anywhere close to "on track" with the current trend of emissions?
Replacing power-hungry appliances is kind to the wallet - but not generally to the climate. Under actual conditions it even leads to more CO2 emissions. But consumers and politicians can do something about it.
Should emissions trading be extended from the energy and manufacturing sectors to transportation and buildings, as Chancellor Merkel seems to prefer, or should a carbon tax be introduced instead? In the controversy over the right instrument, too little consideration is given to the fact that it must fit in with the measures and policies already in place.
At 44 percent in the first half of 2019, the share of renewables in German electricity consumption was higher than ever before. Correspondingly, the emissions of harmful greenhouse gases from electricity generation fell by around 15 percent. This is a good contribution to achieving the climate action targets. Or not?