Last Monday three different German parties formed a coalition on climate change that doesn’t quite meet the standards of the Paris Climate Accord, this is because it openly acknowledges the possibility that the country might not meet the 2020 goal set by the Paris agreement.
This agreement takes place 6 months after the elections and it is a union between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union, and the Social Democratic Party. The meeting is a positive thing for Germany’s political uncertainty, but it’s less reassuring towards the environment.
According to a Factsheet the agreement commits to, “national, European, and Paris Climate Agreement climate protection goals for 2020, 2030, and 2050 for all sectors.” The plan’s goal is to phase out coal as much as possible. Which, means that the German accord can be interpreted as an admission that they won’t actually achieve the 2020 goal, but will attempt to make it their as soon as possible.
Some aspects of the coalition are being praised, for example, the plan will improve Germany’s energy by renewables over 50 percent to 65 percent by 2030. They also plan to begin phasing out coal power by the end of the year and to pass a climate protection act in 2019 that would make it harder for future governments to undo any of the environmental reforms.
The only problem is that in order for Germany to meet the Paris goals, 100 percent of its electricity needs to come from renewable sources by 2030 or 2040, which seems like a long shot right now.
The Paris Accord, What It Means and what it is.
In order to know why the accord is so important, and why Germany is obligated to follow the plan of the accord, it is important to understand what the Paris Accord is, and the differences it has with the German coalition.
The accord was made on December 12, 2015, and it establishes that the threat of climate change as “urgent and potentially irreversible,” and it can be addressed through cooperation by all countries to make deep reductions in global emissions. Over 196 parties were part of the historic pact, and the only country to leave the pact was the United States last June.
Now Germany is the first country to admit that they might not be able to meet certain aspects of this historical coalition that brings most of the world together.
Germany’s been one of the best Countries as Far as moving towards Solar and Clean Energy
Despite the latest findings on Germany, the country has been one of the top countries in Europe at decreasing carbon emissions and creating new solar industries simultaneously. Last May Germany established a new national record where in one day they were able to get over 85% of all of their electricity consumed by renewable energy, such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power.
This looked like a big step, and last year hopes were high to the point that the nation believed that they could be free from using nuclear power sources by 2022.
What Does this mean towards the Future of Germany and the Climate Accord?
Even with the amount of progress Germany has made it’s still pretty evident that they haven’t been impressive in their strides to renewable energy. A significant amount of its energy still comes from coal, but the country continues to move forward.
Many climate experts agree that in order for the global push against climate change to be successful, they need Germany to` not walk back on its 2020 commitment.