Climate Crunch

Germany’s Climate Goals Go Up in Smoke

Coal-fired plant in Mehrum, Lower Saxony
Stop chasing windmills. Source: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA.

Germany is often seen as a poster child for tackling climate change. In fact, the country seems almost certain to spectacularly miss its goals for reducing carbon emissions by the year 2020.

The climate issue is a sticking point in coalition talks to form a new government under Chancellor Angela Merkel: The Green Party wants to see redoubled efforts to cut emissions, but other parties think the failure proves that the goals were always unrealistic. Time for a rethink, they say.

A new internal paper from the federal government, seen by Handelsblatt, is scathing about the likely failure to reach climate goals, demanding “an honest discussion about possible consequences.” It says that intensifying current policies would impose unacceptable costs on consumers, businesses and public spending.

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