Berlin aims to become carbon-neutral by 2045 and to cut 65 percent of emissions by 2030 compared with 1990, but short-term measures to ensure energy security following Russia's attack against Ukraine left it behind schedule.

Last summer, Germany agreed to allow the reactivation of coal-fired power plants or an extension to their lifespans to compensate for declining gas deliveries.
Last summer, Germany agreed to allow the reactivation of coal-fired power plants or an extension to their lifespans to compensate for declining gas deliveries. (AP Archive)

Germany's carbon dioxide emissions held steady last year, jeopardising its climate targets as higher use of oil and coal offset lower energy consumption and record renewables output, data from climate think tank Agora Energiewende has showed.

Germany's 2022 energy consumption fell by 4.7 percent year-on-year to the lowest since its reunification, thanks to spiking energy prices, mild weather and a government appeal for citizens to save energy in light of a sudden drop in Russian gas imports.

"However, the increased use of coal and oil nullified the reductions in emissions through energy savings," the Berlin-based think tank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Despite renewable energy reaching a record 46 percent share in Germany's electricity mix, the greenhouse gas emissions of the country were around 761 million tonnes last year, missing a target of 756 million tonnes and falling behind the 2020 benchmark of a 40 percent cut compared to 1990, Agora said.

READ MORE: Global coal consumption hits 'record high' in 2022

Reactivation of coal-fired power plants

Berlin aims to become carbon-neutral by 2045 and to cut 65 percent of emissions by 2030 compared with 1990, but short-term measures to ensure energy security following Russia's attack against Ukraine left it behind schedule, Simon Mueller, Agora's director in Germany, said.

Last summer, Germany agreed to allow the reactivation of coal-fired power plants or an extension to their lifespans to compensate for declining gas deliveries.

CO2 emissions from the energy industry in 2022 amounted to 255 million tonnes, up 3 percent from the previous year, but slightly below the sector target of 257 million tonnes.

The industrial sector also met its goal, cutting emissions by 8 million tonnes last year due to saving measures and a decline in production, but the transport and building sectors missed their annual targets, Agora added.

"This is an alarm signal with regard to the climate targets," Mueller added.

READ MORE: What if Germany cannot power its coal plants this winter?

Source: Reuters