Germany appears poised to make a fundamental course correction in its climate and energy policy.
Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier says the days of going-it-alone on climate protection are about to end. Photo source: here.
Germany has long been a steadfast and influential proponent of “climate protection”. Also the country’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), directed by climate doomsday professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, has been one of the most influential European players in underpinning the science that has shaped Europe’s stringent climate policy. The PIK has worked relentlessly in close partnership with the UN and North American climate institutes.
That construct, however, may soon be dealt a serious blow as one of Angela Merkel’s closest ministers, Peter Altmaier, told a group of industry leaders that Germany’s days of “going-it-alone on climate protection” are about to end — this according to the highly reputable online Die Welt here.
As Germany’s power industry reels from massive multi-billion euro record losses and power consumers get left in the dark by the hundreds of thousands as power supply gets cut off, the German government may finally be realizing that its climate and energy policy has only wrought tremendous pain and no benefit.
Daniel Wetzel of Die Welt writes:
In climate protection Germany has always played the roles of a front-runner and a model pupil. This now appears to be over.”
Last Friday at the ritzy Hotel Adlon in Berlin, Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier spoke before a group of business leaders and CEOs, and reportedly reaped thunderous applause when he signaled “the expensive climate-political go-it-alone” by Germany “may soon be over“.
According to Die Welt, Altmaier said: “I am totally convinced that the path of national targets is false” and what’s needed in the near future are “European and international targets“.
So far Germany’s approach has not worked, and has been sharply criticized by industry and environmental economists, who say it “has not saved one extra gram of CO2 under the roof of the European Emissions Trading.”
Whether Altmaier’s views get implemented by the Merkel government remains to be seen. However, the movement to relax the country’s draconian climate protection policies appear to be gaining steam. Die Welt writes that Altmaier’s position are also in agreement with the recently minted “energylab 2030” energy concept by leaders of Merkel’s CDU party:
Special national targets for climate protection are counter-productive and thus fundamentally should be dropped.”
Die Welt writes that the German government finally may have realized that its grandstanding target of reducing CO2 emissions twice as fast as the rest of Europe had been “over-ambitious”.
What could have led to these signals of fundamental course change? Die Welt’s Wetzel ends the article by writing:
Among experts it is sure that the federal government’s bold promise made in 2010 of cutting back CO2 emissions 40% by the end of the decade will be significantly missed.”