President Donald Trump is taking heat from environmental activists for repealing the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s plan to fight global warming.
But those same activists seem to be ignoring what’s happening across the Atlantic Ocean where German officials admitted they’re nowhere close to meeting their climate goal, despite spending $800 billion on green energy.
Germany’s energy ministry warned the country may fall well short of its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The ministry said the country is only on track to cut emissions 31.7 to 32.5 percent, according to a report obtained by Clean Energy Wire.
The failure could be a “significant blow to Germany’s climate policy” and “a disaster for Germany’s international reputation as a climate leader,” officials warned.
News of Germany’s troubles with global warming policies comes as the Trump administration begins to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP), an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The Obama administration finalized the CPP in 2015, and President Barack Obama planned on using the rule to cut U.S. emissions in compliance with the Paris climate accord.
Environmental activists criticized Trump’s recent decision to repeal the CPP, but Germany’s experience with nationwide climate policy should give activists some pause.
Germany’s energy problems go even deeper. The New York Times reported Saturday that Germany’s green energy transition has created a “de facto class system” where “a group of have-nots with higher electricity bills that help subsidize the installation of solar panels and wind turbines elsewhere.”
Lucrative subsidies for solar and wind power has fueled the growth of green energy projects across Germany, but it’s also caused electricity prices to spike to about three times what the average American pays. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”
Most of the increase in prices is from taxes tacked onto utility bills, which large industries are exempt from. The Times reported “emissions have been stuck at roughly 2009 levels, and rose last year, as coal-fired plants fill a void left by Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power.”
Rising energy prices and few results have also had political consequences. The Times reported the “far-right party Alternative for Germany, which won enough support in the recent elections to enter Parliament, has called for an “immediate exit” from Energiewende.
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