German greenhouse gas emissions dropped sharply last year, raising hopes of meeting 2030 target


BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by one-tenth last year as renewable energy grew in importance, the use of coal and gas diminished and economic pressures weighed on businesses and consumers, official data showed Friday.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also the economy and climate minister, said Europe’s biggest economy is on course to meet its target for 2030 of cutting emissions by 65%, compared with 1990.

Germany aims to cut its emissions to net zero by 2045 and is working to ramp up the use of solar and wind power and other renewable sources.

The country’s environmental protection agency said that Germany emitted about 673 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2023, a decline of 76 million tons or 10.1%, compared with the previous year. It was the strongest decline since 1990.

The agency pointed to Germany’s “very successful expansion of renewable energies” but cautioned that progress in cutting emissions is not satisfactory across the board. It said more needs to be done in the transport sector in particular, for example by expanding electric mobility and cutting some subsidies.

Habeck’s ministry said projections for the coming years point to a decline in emissions by 2030 of nearly 64%, compared with 1990.

“Germany is on course, for the first time,” Habeck said in a statement. “If we stick to our course, we will reach our 2030 climate targets.”

That, he said, can be done with a recovering economy.

Germany was one of the worst-performing major developed economies last year, weighed down by high energy prices, global economic weakness and interest rate hikes to fight inflation. The country is home to many energy-intensive companies, including in the chemical and metal industries.

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