The prospects of Germany meeting its global warming goals is getting so bleak that not even former Vice President Al Gore seems optimistic the country can meet its emissions targets.
“If I were a citizen of Germany, I would be concerned about Germany being left behind,” said Gore said during an event in Berlin.
“One can’t rest on one’s laurels,” Gore said. “The leadership provided in years past created a reality that now no longer exists. Other countries are moving much faster than Germany.”
Germany, once held up as a poster child for climate policy, is not on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to meet the country’s 2020 goals, despite hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the Energiewende, or “energy transition.”
Germany environment minister Svenja Schulze announced Monday the country would likely fail to cut carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, instead only cutting 32 percent. (RELATED: This Is Why China Did Not Slap Tariffs On US Natural Gas Exports)
Officials are now focusing on a 2030 target for emissions cuts, and the government has convened a commission to figure out how to phase out coal-fired electricity in the coming decades. Germany gets roughly 40 percent of its electricity from coal power.
However, German carbon dioxide emissions have increased since 2014, despite aggressive promotion of green energy sources, like wind and solar. Germany is expected to spend $1.1 trillion on its “energy transition” in the coming years.
To make things worse, summer heat could bring Germany’s grid to the brink. Electricity prices spiked on Monday as power companies expected large amounts of wind power to slow or even go idle.
“The potent combination of low wind availability and a heat wave could lead to German power prices spiking, with utilities ramping output from higher-cost thermal power stations,” Elchin Mammadov, an energy analyst, told Bloomberg on Friday.
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