Climate Chancellor with empty hands
15 November 2017
ECO is looking forward to Angela Merkel’s visit to COP23 today. With negotiations on a new government in Berlin at a decisive point, the German Chancellor cannot stay long in Bonn. What message will the so-called “climate Chancellor” bring to the delegates and the world watching the conference? Reading leaked papers from the current negotiations in Berlin, ECO is worried that Merkel will come to Bonn with empty hands. It´s not about money this time. ECO welcomed Germany’s ‚¬100 million pledge to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund. But this time it’s about something money can’t buy: Germany’s credibility on climate action.
Reading the leaked papers, ECO can tell that Merkel is not willing to start the long overdue, real phase-out of coal. The reduction of only 15 to 30 million tonnes of coal emissions that Conservatives and Liberals are pushing for is ridiculously low compared to the needed 100 million tonnes to close the German emissions gap in order to reach its national climate target for 2020. But on top of that, Merkel does not support measures to significantly reduce emissions from road transport, giving in to pressure from German car makers.
Only yesterday, we learned that Germany’s CO2 emissions are on the rise again, for the second year in a row. In the 12 years that Merkel has led the German government, the country’s emissions have either stagnated or risen. The main reason is that German coal power plants produce surplus electricity which is sold to other countries. This is good for the companies profits , but devastating for the climate and Germany’s credibility as a climate leader. And guess what emissions reduction the German transport sector has achieved since 1990? Zero. Nada. Nichts. Zilch. Their emissions have actually slightly increased. With that attitude it’s no wonder Germany still gets 80% of its primary energy from oil, coal, and gas, and is on track to miss its national climate target of 40% less emissions in 2020 by a shameful 10% margin . ECO assumes that delegates have heard enough nice words from the German Chancellor. The climate crisis does not need more rhetoric, but credible politicians that walk the talk.