What is meant by carbonation

G7: De-carbonization without phasing out coal

Friday, August 7th, 2015, 10:29 am

The "decarbonisation of the world economy" decided by the G7 states at the summit in Elmau in the course of this century is apparently intended to manage without an explicit phase-out from coal or other fossil fuels. This is suggested by the Federal Government's now published response to a request from the Greens in the Bundestag.

Wasn't meant to be like that: Big climate policy show at the G7 summit in June in Schloss Elmau in Upper Bavaria. (Photo: Sebastian Bolesch / Federal Government)

The German government understands decarbonization to mean the switch to low-carbon economies. That in turn is a global economy whose CO2-Emissions are in line with the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees compared to the pre-industrial level in accordance with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The G7 states themselves are responsible for developing national low-carbon strategies, the German government explains. Which technologies are used falls under the sovereignty of the individual states to "determine their own energy mix". Japan wants to increase the share of nuclear energy in the electricity supply, which was around 30 percent before Fukushima and has since been drastically reduced, to 20 to 22 percent again.

According to the federal government, Great Britain, the USA and Canada would "also want to achieve the goal of a low-carbon energy industry by means of CCS", i.e. by separating CO2 and final storage underground. For the federal government, the large-scale demonstration of CCS is currently more of a priority. In addition to the use of energy efficiency technologies, the expansion of renewables and their further development, the federal government also counts nuclear fusion as other "innovative technologies".

In their request, the Greens criticize that Elmau's final declaration tries to give the impression of a demanding climate and energy policy by reinforcing the two-degree limit and decarbonising it. However, the current policy in all G7 countries shows the opposite. German, European and international climate policy is still partly in contradiction to the already non-binding resolutions. According to the Greens, the federal government has so far failed to back up its own goals with concrete measures. Germans' per capita emissions were among the highest in the EU. It is true that Germany reduced its emissions by 3.8 percent between 2005 and 2013. But the goal was 4.5 percent. Germany will no longer achieve the goal it has set itself of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2020.

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