The online daily Abendblatt here and media all over Germany report that the country will not pass its climate protection act, which was supposed to be voted on tomorrow, thus meaning the Germany will come to the Marrakesh world climate conference later this month without any plan for decarbonizing its society.
Last June German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks put forth the Climate Protection Plan 2050 with the aim of starting the “climate-friendly transformation of society”. The plan called for reducing CO2 emissions 40% by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels) and 80 – 95% by 2050.
However the plan was quickly and “radically” gutted out by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Office, Economics Minister/Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Transportation Minister Alexander Dolbridt and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt. The plan’s rejection sent a loud signal that the country was deeply divided on the issue, and that there were in fact other priorities far outweighing “climate protection”.
Plan withdrawn from a vote
The Ministry of Environment’s Climate Protection Plan 2050 was designed to systematically decarbonize German energy production, industry, transportation and agriculture by 2050, and was scheduled to be ratified by the German Bundeskabinett tomorrow, just in time for the world climate conference in Morocco, which starts next week.
However Minister Hendricks announced that she was withdrawing the latest plan, and thus it will not go up for a vote tomorrow. The reason, according to Klimaretter here: “It’s not ready for ratification.”
The move to allow the plan to fall apart sent a wave of surprise across the country as it signals that Germany will come to Morocco with no official commitment to substantially reduce CO2 emissions. Hendricks will attempt a new vote in December, long after the end of the Morocco conference.
“Unscientific hodgepodge of measures”
This is a devastating signal coming from a country often viewed as one of the leading proponents of CO2 reduction and climate protection. Initially Germany wanted to showcase it’s commitment to CO2 reductions, and so in Morocco serve as an example for responsible behavior to the rest of the world. Now Europe’s most powerful economy will have nothing to show, and Europe’s leadership on the issue appears seriously compromised.
According to the Abendblatt, Michael Fuchs of Merkel’s CDU party called Hendricks’s draft plan “an unscientific hodgepodge of measures” and that climate strategy has to be foremost focused on innovation and technology.
Leading environmental groups and environmental activists blasted the government’s gutting out and opposition to the climate protection plan, calling it an “embarrassment” that Germany will show up in Morocco with no official intention of cutting back its emissions.