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CO2 target shaky
1 April 1998
Germany's national CO2 reduction target is looking ever more shaky. Even before the Kyoto global warming conference, German industry repeatedly warned that achieving a 25% cut by 2005 compared with 1990 is no more than "wishful thinking." Now, a renowned economic institute says the target can only be achieved if Germany implements far reaching measures over the next eight years. The German institute for economic research, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW) in Berlin, confirms that CO2 reductions of 12.5%-14% have been achieved over the past seven years. This, however, was mainly due to the collapse of east German industry after the re-unification of Germany in 1990. Cutbacks in emissions have now slowed considerably. If the effects of the weather are taken into account, emissions even rose again in 1997. To reach its target, Germany must reduce emissions by a further 15%-16% before 2005 says DIW. "Without a broadly based bundle of additional measures, this aim can hardly be reached." The DIW study adds weight to a recent Esso forecast which predicts that by 2005, CO2 emissions in Germany will be only 13% less than the 1990 figure. Had the original EU target for the Kyoto conference of a 15% reduction in emissions to the year 2010 been agreed, Germany is not likely to have met it. At Kyoto the EU agreed to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases by 8% by 2008-2012 compared with 1990.
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