The whole idea of a ‘climate protection plan’, as well as sounding like some sort of insurance racket, is loaded with suspect assumptions about supposed effects of human activities on the inherent natural variation of Earth’s ocean-atmosphere system.
DW.COM reports on what’s seen by some as Germany’s Moroccan climate embarrassment, as some of its own top politicians put a spanner in the works.
Germany’s failure to approve a national climate plan to bring to the table at the UN international climate conference has sparked a round of finger-pointing over who is responsible for the blow to the country’s green reputation.
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has vented her frustration over the prospect of representing her country at the talks in Marrakesh next week without any concrete measures on how it plans to meet the goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
For a country so proud of being one of the earlier nations to ratify the Paris Agreement that sets out this goal, it is a significant loss of face. What happened?
Eleven months on from the Paris Agreement, the Climate Protection Plan 2050 was supposed to show Germany’s contribution to pledges made as part of the vaunted climate treaty. The plan lays out how Germany will move away from fossil fuels and achieve its coal of cutting CO2 emissions up to 95 percent by 2050.
Hendricks presented a draft plan in April 2016, but many measures and objectives were removed at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel before it was sent to the other ministries.
Bit by bit, the original contents of the draft have been chipped away, in particular by the agriculture and transport ministries. But even in its watered-down form, it still failed to meet the approval of cabinet ministers, who had been due to sign it on Wednesday – they are now expected to approve the plan in December.
The diluted version of the proposal abandons a timetable to exit coal-fired power generation and scrapping C02 emissions reduction goals for individual sectors. Instead, the new version proposes measures to ensure Germany will be “largely” greenhouse-gas neutral by the middle of this century.
How do other countries view Germany stalling on its climate change plan?
Asad Rehman, head of international climate at Friends of the Earth in the United Kingdom, told DW the delay “sends the wrong signal that Germany isn’t that committed,” and shows lacking “political will to deliver when a government ratifies the agreement but then doesn’t make concrete measures.”
“We have been used to looking at Germany to say, look, it can be done,” he told DW, referring for example to Germany’s leading role in building out renewable energies.
But the failure to agree a plan affects “not just other countries around Germany like Poland, but it has a big knock-on effect beyond it.”