Politics Germany unveils more ambitious carbon emission reduction plan after court ruling
Avoiding 'carbon colonialism': Developing nations can't pay the price for pollution
It is crucial that American environmentalists and policy makers apply a justice framework outside the borders of the country, rather than outsourcing harm. Environmentalists must ensure that carbon sequestration does not become a pathway or even a justification for social oppression.Carbon offsetting may sound like a good thing, but it imperils particular places and communities in favor of global exchange value. It is a form of climate injustice under the guise of a climate solution.Laura J. Martin, Ph.D.
German officials announced a higher target for carbon emission reductions Wednesday after a constitutional court ruled a 2019 emissions law was inefficient.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government will now target a reduction of 65 percent by the end of the decade and 88 percent by 2040, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said,. The government has also moved up its target for nearly net-zero emissions five years, from 2050 to 2045.
The 2019 emissions law at issue set a target of cutting emissions 55 percent by 2019 compared to 1990 levels. However, last week Germany's highest court ruled the law must be updated, saying it does not properly address reductions beyond the end of the decade and passes the burden onto younger generations. Plaintiffs in the case included a young woman who cited rising sea levels as an imminent threat to her family home in the island of Pellworm in the North Sea.
New US emissions-reduction target will spur economic growth
Climate leadership isn’t just about cutting emissions. Developed countries also have a responsibility to provide financial support for vulnerable countries to adopt clean energy and build resilience to climate impacts. Yet, major economies have not yet delivered on the goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year in climate finance. At the summit, the U.S. committed to double overseas climate finance to around $5.7 billion per year by 2024. This is an important start after being largely absent the last four years but is insufficient. The U.S.
"The challenged provisions do violate the freedoms of the complainants, some of whom are still very young," Reuters reported the court said. "The provisions irreversibly offload major emission reduction burdens onto periods after 2030."
Environmental Minister Svenja Schulze said Wednesday that under the new targets, the country's emissions would be reduced a further 12 points in the 2040s. The alterations must be formally approved by Merkel's Cabinet, which Scholz and Schulze said is scheduled to take place next week.
"That is a fair offer for the younger generations in that we are not leaving the biggest burden for the future," Schulze reportedly said. "Each decade, each generation takes responsibility."
The ruling came during a period where Germany's Green Party has seen surging polls ahead of September elections. Merkel, who leads a coalition government of her Christian Democratic Union party and the Social Democrats, is not seeking re-election.
Germanyamong nations for total carbon emissions based on 2018 data, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
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