Rising carbon prices led to drop in German emissions in 2019

Rising carbon prices led to drop in German emissions in 2019

Germany's greenhouse gas emissions fell sharply last year, putting the country's 2020 climate goal within reach again. A report released by the think tank Agora Energiewende found that emissions fell by 6.5% in 2019 compared with the previous year — equivalent to 50 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Analysts said the decline was driven by the rising price for carbon dioxide in Europe's emissions trading system, which pushed utility companies to burn less heavily polluting coal and more natural gas.

Energy from renewable sources also hit a new high in 2019, meeting 42.6% of gross energy consumption in Germany compared with 38.2% the previous year.

Germany had been predicted to miss its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with 1990-levels, to just over 750 million tons of carbon dioxide. The latest figures show Germany's emissions reached 811 million tons in 2019 - amounting to a 35% drop since 1990 - and a similar decline over the coming year could put Europe's biggest economy back on track to meet its short-term target.

Climate change has become a big political issue in Germany in recent years, but efforts to move the country with its entrenched car culture and heavy industry away from fossil fuels have hit numerous bumps.

Source: ABC News