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Are the german immediate action programmes enough?

New report by the Expert Council on Climate Issues urges doubts.

View from a car in a traffic jam

The current report of the Expert Council on Climate Issues (ERK) finds: The emergency programmes for the building and transport sectors are no guarantee for compliance with the climate targets. Prof. Dr Marc Oliver Bettzüge, the holder of the Chair of Economics, Energy and Sustainability of the WiSo Faculty and Director of the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne, is part of the Expert Council of the ERK appointed by the Federal Government. The Climate Protection Act stipulates that the Emergency Programmes for the buildings and transport sectors adopted by the federal ministries on 13 July 2022 are to be reviewed by the council for climate issues.

For the buildings sector, the experts state that the realisation of CO2 reductions amounting to 137 megatonnes of CO2 equivalents is achievable. From 2022 to 2027, there would still be exceedances of the Climate Protection Act, but from 2028 onwards these could be compensated for by shortfalls. According to the report, the resulting emissions gap would be closed by 2030.

Whereas the transport sector does not meet the requirements of the emergency programme. "According to the Ministry of Transport, the Immediate Action Programme for the transport sector only saves 14 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, so that arithmetically there is still a compliance gap of 261 megatonnes by 2030," notes Brigitte Knopf, deputy chair of the Expert Council.

The Expert Council also points out that the application of the Federal Climate Protection Act is still a challenge. Clarification of open questions and the exact interpretation is essential. The Council calls on the Federal Government to clarify these points before the next review.