German Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down 4.3% in 2014 – Energy Related Emissions Down 5.2%

Germany’s greenhouse gas emission for 2014 were down 41.3 million tonnes, or 4.3% compared to 2013, the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA) reported. Energy related emissions were down even further at minus 5.2%.

UBA estimated total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 were 912 million tonnes, the lowest value since 2010. This translates into a reduction of 27% compared to the 1990 reference year.

Energy related emissions totalled 751.6 million tonnes, which is 41 million tonnes or 5.2% less than 2013. Further details can be seen in the following table:

Energy Related Emissions – Near Term Estimate Umweltbundesamt 2014

Source 2013 million t 2014 million t Change million t Change %
Energy related emissions 792.6 751.6 -41.0 -5.2
– Mineral oils 257.8 254.5 -3.3 -1.3
– Natural gas/other gases 1) 169.5 147.6 -21.8 -12.9
– Hard coal 159.5 146.4 -13.1 -8.2
– Lignite 179.0 175.0 -4.0 -2.2
– Others 2) 23.9 25.1 1.2 5.0
– Diffuse emissions 3) 3.0 3.0 0.0 0,0
Industrial processes 42.7 43.0 0.3 0.7
Sovent/other product use 4) 5.3 5.3 0.0 0.6
Total 840.6 799.9 -40.7 -4.8

1) Natural gas and mine gas
2) Fossil waste share, substitute fuels and emissions from flue-gas desulfurization
3) From production, treatment and transformation of fuels
4) Including lime and urea application in agriculture
Source: Umweltbundesamt

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said that a big part of the reduction in 2014 was due to the mild winter, but another part was due to real progress in climate protection.

It remains to be seen if and to what extent the 2014 reduction will affect the government’s plans to reduce CO2 emissions further, particularly regarding the controversial and legally doubtful project for an additional reduction of 22 million tonnes mainly from lignite fired power stations. In any event, the German government’s plan to reduce German greenhouse gas emissions by 40% is – at least so far – only a political, not a legally binding target, neither on the German nor on the European nor on the UN level. However, politically (and often in the media), it seems to be treated as if it were.

Source: BMU

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