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Germany could miss 2030 climate target: Think tank

Berlin, Jan 8 (IANS) Germany is at risk of missing its 2030 climate targets, with the country's greenhouse gas emissions rising by 4.5 per cent year-on-year in 2021, according to a think tank.

Emissions rose to 772 million metric tonnes of CO2 in 2021, representing a reduction of 38 per cent compared to 1990-levels, the think tank Agora Energiewende said on Friday.

This means the country's 2020 target of 40 per cent was missed again, reports Xinhua news agency.

The increase in emissions was mainly driven by the knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as recovery began, including higher coal-fired power generation due to a sharp rise in gas prices, a decline in power generation from renewables, and cooler weather.

The lower emissions achieved in 2020 were largely due to the one-off effects of the first year of the pandemic, Agora Energiewende said.

After a landmark court ruling last year, the country's 2030 target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990-levels was raised from 55 per cent to 65 per cent.

Germany set its most ambitious climate targets ever for 2021, said Simon Mueller, director at Agora Energiewende.

However, the government urgently needs to close the implementation gap with effective climate measures, he said.

While electricity production from wind power plants recorded the biggest ever slump in 2021, coal-fired generation achieved record growth, Agora's analysis found.

Coal increased its share of electricity generation by almost a fifth, to 27.8 per cent.

"There is a lot of catching up to do in climate protection in the building sector and in renewable energies in particular," added Mueller.

Germany's new government is seeking to accelerate the country's coal phase-out, with the last facilities set to be taken off the grid by 2030, eight years earlier than previously planned.

Furthermore, 80 per cent of electricity should be generated from renewable sources by 2030.