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Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Germany Pushes (Again) for Stronger EU Carbon Emissions Cuts

May 25th, 2012 by  


Back in April, Poland killed an effort to increase the EU’s carbon reduction target from 20% by 2020 to 30% by 2020, despite the fact that such a policy change would result in a net benefit for Poland! Perhaps hoping that Poland would come around following the report showing that to be the case, or perhaps just being a super enthusiastic renewable energy champion, Germany has put a discussion of stronger EU emissions cuts back on the agenda.

“Germany asked for it (a deeper cut) to be added to the environment council agenda,” an anonymous source told Reuters.

“It will be debated as part of discussion on the transition towards a competitive, low-carbon economy.”

The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme has dropped to record lows due to the EU’s rapid adoption of clean energy and, thus, low demand for renewable energy investment: “its collapse to record lows means that it is having the opposite effect and has been driving investment in coal-fired generation rather than gas, which is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, analysts and utility companies have said.”

Currently, the carbon price is €7 and an ideal price is projected to be €20-50.

Image: oil/globe question mark via Shutterstock


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Ross

    It isn’t just Germany that wants this. Poland is the only EU country that’s blocking it.

  • Captivation

    Zach, thanks for posting this. The fact that Clean Energy investment can be thwarted by price wobbles in the carbon market shows that carbon pricing is an insufficient mechanism by itself. It needs to be accompanied by trade restrictions. Of course, we would all like to see the soft hand of economics win the day, but the strong hand of politics will have to play a role too. World leaders need to drive with both hands on the wheel as they navigate the treacherous landscape ahead.

    • anderlan

      We need an all-of-the-above strategy when it comes to de-fossilization. Emissions trading (with NO offsets, and with a market for *each* pollutant, since they each have different effects), plus a rising fossil fuel production/import tax, plus green energy and efficiency subsidies.

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