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Corona crisis: How aid packages worth billions could undermine climate protection


The emissions of the largest economies fell for the first time, shows a current climate report. However, the progress threatens to be undone by the corona crisis.

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Inden lignite opencast mine: According to the report, Germany is currently missing the 1.5 degree target

Photo: Rupert Oberhäuser / imago images / Rupert Oberhäuser

The decline is very thin, but historically significant.

Last year, emissions in the world's 20 largest economies fell slightly - by 0.1 percent, according to the latest Climate Transparency Report by the international Climate Transparency initiative, according to the report steadily increased - in 2018 alone by 1.9 percent.

Climate Transparency is supported by the World Bank and the Federal Environment Ministry, among others.

Every year since 2015, the report has shown how the G20 countries are progressing in climate protection.

The association of states includes: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the USA and the European Union.

The countries are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

The current trend towards lower emissions could soon be reversed, warn the authors of the report.

Because economic packages worth billions, which are supposed to stimulate the economy in the corona crisis, are hardly oriented towards sustainability.

According to the report, fossil fuels are among the beneficiaries in many countries:

  • Ten of the states supported the

    coal and gas sector

  • 15 countries support


    , only one of these countries linked the aid to climate requirements: France.

  • Seven countries have made

    funds available for the auto industry

    , only France and Germany in return set guidelines for climate protection.

The subsidies could undermine advances in climate protection, write the authors of the report.

Several countries had declared that they wanted to become climate neutral in the coming decades.

Germany missed the 1.5 degree target

The EU Commission and the EU Parliament recently spoke out in favor of a more ambitious climate target.

According to this, emissions should decrease by 60 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.

The EU wants to be climate-neutral by 2050, but the heads of state and government have postponed a corresponding decision.

The appointment should now take place in December.

China, Japan, South Africa and South Korea also want to become climate neutral.

The elected US President Joe Biden had also promised to want to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

President Donald Trump, who is currently still in office, left the contract and further relaxed environmental protection requirements during the corona crisis.

This year, too, emissions in the G20 countries are likely to fall further due to the corona crisis.

The current report assumes a reduction of 7.5 percent.

Previous studies had also shown this effect.

However, once the world economy gets going again, emissions are likely to rise again.

According to the report, the main reason for the current reduction was the expansion of renewable energies.

The share in the G20 countries is currently 28 percent on average, a fifth more than five years ago.

According to the report, almost 43 percent of the energy sector in Germany comes from renewable energies.

However, due to the onshore wind energy crisis, the authors hardly see any growth potential.

Last year, the report's carbon footprint sounded even more sobering.

In the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, the countries actually agreed to limit the global average temperature in this century to below two degrees above the pre-industrial level and to strive for a limit of 1.5 degrees.

According to the report by "Climate Transparency", which was published under the name "Brown-to-Green-Report" until last year, not a single G20 state was recently on the way to the targeted 1.5-degree Goal still to be fulfilled.

According to a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees would have significantly less serious consequences.

For example, a rise of two degrees would probably affect ten million more people from the rise in sea level, the probability of extreme weather events would increase and significantly more adaptations to climate change would be necessary.

Experts doubt whether this goal can still be achieved.

According to the World Weather Organization (WMO), the global average temperature could rise to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level in one of the coming years.

Emissions in traffic continue to rise

In order to meet the 1.5 degree target, the current report says, the phase-out from fossil fuels would have to be completed more quickly.

So far, only Canada, France and Great Britain are on a path that could still be compatible with a 1.5 degree target.

Germany, on the other hand, will likely miss the target.

However, France is doing well in terms of its carbon footprint, mainly because of its still high share of nuclear energy.

Representatives of the atomic energy industry also believe that the climate goals can only be achieved with nuclear power.

Despite the overall positive balance in terms of emissions, one area continues to cause more emissions: the transport sector.

Germany in particular is doing badly.

Compared to five years ago, emissions in this area have increased by 4.4 percent.

Other countries, however, have already set deadlines for the end of internal combustion engines.

Icon: The mirror


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2020-11-19

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