Germany has always been viewed as one of the leaders in “fighting climate change”. But when you examine what the country has really accomplished in reducing CO2 emissions, we see that country’s actions tell another story.
And when you examine its current activities, one thing stands clear: Germany is no longer taking the futile fight against climate change seriously and has abandoned its efforts to fight nature, likely having realized that the climate is going to change naturally anyway and there’s nothing you can do about it – except adapt. Thus in most respects, Germany has de facto joined the ranks of Japan, Australia and Canada.
German climate scientist Mojib Latif, a loud proponent of radical CO2 reductions, has a commentary at Spiegel titled: The fight against greenhouse gases: Germany mutates into a climate protection obstructionist.
Latif writes that in 1995, under the leadership of Helmut Kohl, Germany unilaterally committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2005 (using 1990 as the reference period). The Kyoto Protocol then mandated that Europe’s largest economy only needed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 21% by 2012. That target was reached; Germany patted itself on the back and posed as a model for the rest of the world.
But as Latif points out, the target was reached not because of planned and executed efforts to do so, but thanks in large part to a one-time unique event: the collapse of East Germany and its notoriously outdated and dilapidated industry. Moreover, Germany’s economy shifted a large portion of its energy-intensive industry to foreign locations, thus merely offshoring its CO2 emissions (gray emissions). The result, Latif writes: Germany has in reality made little or no tangible progress in greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The 21% achievement was a book-keeping trick, and nothing more.
Taking the reunification into account and gray emissions, when it comes to climate protection, Germany has hardly undertaken any serious efforts since the Kohl government announced its ambitious plans.”
Kohl’s announcement was made in 1995, meaning Germany has done practically nothing but blow hot air on climate for almost 20 years! What’s worse, Latif writes, is that Germany is now actively obstructing progress on global emissions reductions. This in reality, confirmed by its actions, puts the country in the same ranks as Japan, Canada, and Australia: countries who have realized that the situation is not that serious after all and that there isn’t a crisis.
The obstructive actions Latif cites include Germany’s obstruction of stricter CO2 upper limits for new cars, delay tactics to prevent a reform of CO2 emissions trading, its scaling back of subsidies for renewable energies, and its recent plans to bring coal-fired power plants back on line. Indeed Germany’s CO2 emissions have risen for the second year in a row, ironically because of the unusually cold winter. Latif writes:
This is a sad result for the self-named class leader in climate protection.
While Germany may appear quick to lecture other countries on their environmental and climatic responsibilities, the reality is completely different. Europe’s industrial engine has realized that fighting climate change is an excruciatingly expensive and senseless endeavor and that the science underpinning it isn’t what it was cracked up to be after all.
GLOBAL TEMPERATURE COMPARED TO GLOBAL COAL EMISSIONS
Global temperature (green) compared to global coal consumption (black). While coal consumption has soared 70% since 2000, global temperatures have eased since 2002.