Germany’s economics, transport, and construction ministries submitted emergency initiatives on Wednesday to reduce emissions in building and transportation after the two sectors failed their carbon-dioxide reduction objectives for 2021, endangering the country’s overall climate goals for 2030.

After a court determined last year that Germany’s climate protection legislation needed to be tightened, the then-government established more aggressive CO2 reduction objectives.

Last year, the new coalition administration announced intentions to ramp up climate protection initiatives, which include far-reaching changes for the energy sector as well as industrial sectors, buildings, transportation, and agriculture.

Germany’s Environment Agency reported in March that CO2 emissions in the country’s transportation sector were 148.1 million tonnes last year, above the goal of 145 million tonnes.

So far, transportation has been Germany’s slowest sector in reducing emissions, accounting for 19% of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2021. Emissions from the industry were 9.4 percent lower last year compared to 1990.

Last year, the construction industry released 115 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, falling short of the goal of 112 million tonnes.

The ministries had until July 13 to provide a plan to guarantee that the sector met yearly emission objectives in the following years.

The transportation emergency program advocates for more refueling and charging infrastructure for passenger and commercial cars, as well as increased support for heavy commercial vehicles and bike routes.

It includes an extra 250 million euros ($250.90 million) for bike infrastructure by 2030, as well as funding for a “digitisation push” to encourage working from home as a strategy to reduce transportation emissions.

According to the transport ministry, the measures may save about 13 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in transportation by 2030, making up for the 2021 gap.

A building emergency plan would require all newly installed heating systems in Germany to use 65 percent renewable energy by 2024.

The government also intends to enhance public building upgrades to make them more energy efficient.

The proposal includes incentives for converting from fossil to renewable heating networks, as well as for new heating networks that generate at least 75 percent of their heat from renewables and waste heat.

Source: Reuters

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