The stricter climate protection targets recently announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Protestant Church Congress would put a considerable burden on the German economy and every single household.
If the goal formulated by Merkel to increase the CO2 reduction target from 90 to 100 percent by 2050 were really achieved, then it would result in additional costs of around 3000 billion euros, according to a calculation by the former Hamburg Senator for the Environment, Fritz Vahrenholt (SPD).
7.6 trillion euros, twice Germany’s GDP
The cost of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 thus would rise from an estimated 4600 billion to 7600 billion euros. This is about twice as much as Germany’s gross domestic product in 2018, according to the magazine Tichys Einblick in its issue published Monday.
For these figures, Vahrenholt relies on a study commissioned by the Federal Government on the costs of the Energiewende (transition to green energies), which the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech) and the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities presented in November 2017.
Additional 320 euros per month per household
According to the study, the researchers expect costs for reaching the 90 percent target to reach 4600 billion euros by 2050. According to the study, this corresponds to an average additional burden on households in Germany of 320 euros per month.
Reductions getting increasingly difficult, expensive
An increase in climate protection targets beyond the 90 percent aim, as Angela Merkel has now formulated as a target, is particularly expensive because all “favourable” possibilities for CO2 reduction and replacement have already been exhausted.
“The technical expenditure for any further reduction is much higher since all potentials for direct electricity use have been exhausted and low-cost fossil natural gas must be replaced by elaborately produced synthetic energy sources,” the researchers wrote in 2017.
3000 billion euros for last 10% reduction
On the basis of the cost assumptions made by the researchers, Vahrenholt extrapolated the costs for the last ten percent. According to this approach, the costs for the last ten percent are 3000 billion euros. By way of comparison, in their government report the researchers stated that the additional costs of increasing the climate protection target from 85 to 90 percent amounted to 1300 billion euros.
1050 euros per household – per month!
If the demand of the “Fridays for Future” demonstrators were met and climate neutrality were to be achieved by 2035, the costs would be incurred in a shorter time. According to Vahrenholt, the cost burden would rise to 1050 euros per household – per month!
You can read the detailed cost calculations in the last Monday edition of Tichy’s Einblick. You can also find the article on the Internet here.