Environmental expert council: Germany has used up CO2 budget

Germany has used up the greenhouse gas quota that would be commensurate with global warming of 1.5 degrees, according to an updated report from the government’s council for environmental affairs (SRU) published in Berlin on Monday.

A target of a maximum rise of 1.5 Celsius degrees in the earth’s atmosphere, compared with the pre-industrial era was set at a UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The SRU, a seven-member council of independent experts appointed for four years, bases its findings on how much CO2 equivalent Germany may emit if the total quantity is shared equitably, based on global population in 2016 when the Paris agreement went into effect.

“It is now undeniable that we emit more CO2 that what is permitted, if we base our share on global population,” SRU member Wolfgang Lucht said.

Whether or not the German CO2 budget has nearly been reached or has in fact been used up depends on the probability that the 1.5-degree limit is attained.

Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, the minister responsible for the economy and climate affairs, recently said that the German target for 2030, according to which emissions are to be cut by 65% based on 1990 levels, was attainable.

According to the SRU, Germany would still use up more emissions from the budget than would be commensurate with the 1.5-degree target.

The self-satisfied congratulations of the recent CO2 projections were “completely inappropriate,” Greenpeace spokesman Benjamin Stephan said.

The SRU called for efforts to combat climate change to be increased, despite challenges facing the government, including economic crises, wars and populism.

The effects of global warming, including floods, fire and droughts would jeopardize the lives of all people as well as other life, the council said.


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