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Germany would have missed 2020 climate goal without COVID-19 emissions drop

(EurActiv, 20 Aug 2020) Germany could meet its climate target for 2020 but would have missed the goal if the economic havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic had not caused a large drop in greenhouse gas emissions, the country’s environment ministry said.

Germany, Europe’s largest-emitting country, had hoped to cut emissions to 40% below 1990 levels this year and introduced new climate policies in 2019.

However, policy efforts would have delivered only a 37.5% emissions cut, the ministry said on Wednesday.

“We have learned the right lessons from past failures,” German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said. “Every year we will check whether we are on the path we have agreed, and take further action if necessary.”

The full impact of the pandemic on Germany’s emissions is still uncertain, but actual emissions are likely to be “significantly lower” than expected, meaning the 2020 target could be achieved, the ministry said.

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EurActiv, 20 Aug 2020: Germany would have missed 2020 climate goal without COVID-19 emissions drop