Germany at risk of missing climate targets: report
BERLIN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany will miss its own climate targets by a wide margin unless greater efforts are made to reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported Wednesday.
Berlin has set itself the official goal of reducing man-made emissions, which contribute to climate change, by 40 percent until 2020, compared to the 1990 levels.
However, a study by the Environment Ministry quoted by an SZ report showed that Germany is currently on track to achieve only a 32.5-percent reduction in the best-case scenario.
The report warned that the resulting gap between expectations and outcome in the level of national emissions would constitute a "significant setback" for German climate policy.
The ministry pointed out that although the share of renewable energy has grown continuously in the country, environmentally damaging coal power stations continue to produce large amounts of electricity.
Jochen Flasbarth, German state secretary for the environment, consequently warned that Berlin would fail to meet its targets if it relied only on the expansion of renewable resources.
Flasbarth urged policymakers to gradually remove coal power stations from the grid alongside the promotion of clean energy.
Furthermore, Germany's failure to reach its climate goals would be "devastating" for its international reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change, the study said.
Andreas Kuhlmann, head of the German energy agency, told the paper that the 2020 objectives would be unachievable without a rapid exit from coal power.