Germany abandons their climate target, as their Chancellor sings to the crowd

Eric Worrall writes:

merkelAs the German President publicly berates the Aussie Prime Minister at the G20, with the statement “Climate change won’t stop at the Pacific Islands”, behind the scenes, Germany is preparing to formally abandoning her commitment to a 40% cut in GHG by 2020.

According to the GWPF (referencing a Spiegel article);

The German coalition government is planning to withdraw from its 2020 climate change goals. Notwithstanding public protest, Federal Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) has abandoned the requirement of cutting 40 percent of CO2 emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2020.

“It’s clear that the [2020 CO2] target is no longer viable,” said the vice-chancellor according to information obtained by SPIEGEL, adding: “We cannot exit from coal power overnight.”

Experts have doubted for some time that German climate targets are being met – especially since Gabriel is defending vehemently coal-fired power generation. According to the Ministry of Environment, Germany would have to cut 62 to 100 million tonnes of CO2 every year in order to achieve its goals. Shutting down old coal power stations would only reduce CO2 emissions by 40 million tons.

In his battle with Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD) who urged the government to adhere to the climate targets laid down in the coalition agreement, Gabriel has now prevailed. In confidential conversation with the environment minister Gabriel told her that he would not tolerate further resistance to the new government line. “It doesn’t work like that,” the Labour leader said.

Within the SPD, however, criticism of Gabriel’s U-turn is getting louder. In a letter, prominent eco-experts of the Social Democratic Party, including Erhard Eppler, Volker Hauff and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, the signatories call on SPD ministers in the coalition government not to abandon Germany’s climate targets. They demand that the national reduction target for 2020 should be safeguarded: “This national target is also important because the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 which were adopted at the end of October are not ambitious enough.”

In my opinion this is blatant climate hypocrisy at its finest – bold statements and public bullying of skeptical politicians from the German Chancellor, while back at home, Germany rushes full steam ahead to embrace coal, to save her tottering economy from green ruin.  Germany’s new power plants will most likely burn their share of Australian coal – coal the German Chancellor publicly says she wants Australia to leave in the ground.

111 thoughts on “Germany abandons their climate target, as their Chancellor sings to the crowd

    • Coal, Oil, wood – its the buyers that create demand, and demand is worldwide. Yours is the exact same illogic that says that the US – which has unlike Germany, reduced coal consumption – is somehow not cleaning itself up as coal exports have risen. Coal mines don’t set the coal on fire – that’s a decision that the buyer makes.
      Australia and Canada have huge carbon footprints – but they also mine minerals, oil and other products like wood chips for the rest of the world. This keeps the EU types happy with their exported pollution.

      • Your carbon footprints are miniscule and are no cause for alarm.
        Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere = 0.04% which = 0.0004 of the atmosphere.
        Man-made CO2 is 3% of that which = 0.0004×0.03 = 0.000012.
        Burning fossil fuels is about 50% of that.
        Therefore: The amount of man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels is about 0.000006 of the atmosphere.
        If you are telling me that this miniscule amount of CO2 can cause ice ages and catastrophic global warming
        then you are either pushing the Alarmist’s political agenda and/or you are intellectually dishonest.
        AND.. that; the sun, Milankovitch cycles; continental drift; volcanism and earthquakes are irrelevant
        is totally absurd.

      • Actually a lot of Australia’s carbon footprint comes from liquefying natural gas. It requires approximately 10% of the gas to provide the energy to liquefy the rest. To put that in perspective ; currently Western Australia consumes less gas domestically than is used to liquefy the rest for export. However, the carbon cost of liquefying is applied to Australia, not the consumers in Japan.

      • Carbon footprint ?
        Tell it like it is, not they way corrupt politicians, misguided greenuts, trough dwelling scientists, alternative energy profiteers and BS journo’s like to peddle it.
        You must mean CO2 NOT plain old C (carbon – look it up in your periodic table).
        CO2 is a benign, colourless, odourless, tasteless, heavier than air gas that is crucial to life on earth.
        Where were you when the taught you that in primary school?

      • Alberta Slim,
        Bad argument: CO2 increased from 290 ppmv to 400 ppmv, but near the entire rise is from human emissions. These are 3% of the (mainly seasonal) cycle, 97% natural, but natural sinks are 98.5% of the total cycle thus leaving 1.5% in the atmosphere, all caused by human emissions. Thus nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source and thus not the cause of the increase. Halve the human emissions (as mass, not original molecules) accumulated over the past 160 years, as in any year (at least over the past 55 years of accurate measurements) human emissions were higher than the increase in the atmosphere.
        If the 110 ppmv rise will have dire effects, or even measurable effects, is a complete separate question, but low quantities also is a bad argument. Try the same quantity of HCN in the atmosphere…. Anyway, the longer the “pause” gets, the lower the effect of 2xCO2.

      • cnxtim,
        Carbon is used as common term, because it is only CO2 in the atmosphere (and a small amount of CH4, CFC’s,…), but in the oceans it is 1% CO2, 90% bicarbonates and 9% carbonates. In vegetation it is a host of carbohydrates and a lot of other stuff.
        Therefore carbon equivalents are used for all its different forms in the different reservoirs, to make a comparison possible. The carbon balance must be obeyed, no matter in which form the carbon is captured or released…

      • Ferdinand,
        You seem to have gotten entangled in the underwear of your response. Firstly all the numbers you quote (the most delicious is 98.5, Arw you sure it is not 98.528754😊?) have not error bars. Once you put them in place human contribution starts spanning 0. Conventionally that meant back to the drawing board. But in climate change world it leads to increased confidence. Sort of like the IPCC becoming more confident as CO2 rises but temp does not.
        Secondly you take to task concentration wetness and argue on toxicity. What is that a warmest pea thimble move?

      • Debee, I am sure that the 30% increase of CO2 will not cause any harm to anyone, but if skeptics want to be taken serious, they should use the right arguments, which is about the (lack of) effect of the CO2 increase, not about quantities or origin of the increase (which is surely human).
        Humans emit ~9 GtC/year as CO2 from fossil fuel burning alone, based on fossil fuel production and sales (+ an uncertain amount caused by land clearing). Error bar: -0.5 to +1 GtC/year (due to probable under the counter sales). The increase over the past 55 years was in average about halve of that amount per year +/- 2 GtC as natural variability, based on very accurate measurements at a lot of stations (error bar +/- 0.4 GtC/year) all over the oceans. Thus the “error bar” of natural variability in uptake + errors in measurements are less than halve the human emissions. Seems clear to me that humans are responsible for almost all of the increase over at least the past 55 years
        Quantities don’t tell you anything about effects, that is never a good argument. The lack of effect over the past 14/18 years with record emissions and CO2 levels is the best argument you can use…

  1. Saw this at the Bishop’s… didn’t comment there as it seems so unsourced.
    Der Spiegel writes and we believe? German papers are still papers.
    This hasn’t even been officially denied yet.

  2. more on the subject:
    17 Nov: Carbonbrief: Germany debates programme to save 2020 climate target
    But Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions have been rising for the last three years, bringing this interim goal into question…
    Germany’s environment and energy ministers both say that Germany’s new Climate Action Programme must ensure that the 2020 target is met, despite German newspaper Der Spiegel reporting the target would be weakened earlier this week…
    But if the government is to hit its overall 2020 goal for the whole economy, it’s going to need more emissions reductions from the energy sector.
    The government expects the Energiewende’s current policies will mean the energy sector emits 70 million tonnes less in 2020 than it did in 2013…
    This is tricky, because the main cause of Germany’s recent emissions rise is an increase in the use of coal to generate electricity. Coal was responsible for about 45 per cent of Germany’s power in 2013, compared to about 42 per cent in 2010…
    But there is a lot of uncertainty about whether proposed reforms to the EUETS will curtail coal use…
    COMMENT: A 70 million tonnes of CO2 gap. This is almost certainly greater than the CO2 saved by every single wind turbine and solar panel in Germany.
    The arithmetic on this is clear. They won’t meet the target. And it is time people stopped being so deluded on the issue.
    COMMENT: The green movement however only have themselves to blame if climate change “skeptics” use this against them. Germany was stupidly held up as a beacon in the fog. Did people not notice the coal power plants being built?
    The whole thing is depressing. On the one hand we have people like Bill McKibben telling us to “do the math”, on the other we have people like Bill McKibben telling us that Germany is showing the way. It’s impossible to not conclude that the green movement simply is not up to the task.

  3. They can always capture the CO2 from burning coal and sequester it into their beer. There’s a market out there for really dark beers…
    I could never understand how a country as smart as Germany could ever buy into the idea they could reduce CO2 emissions by 40%, not use nuclear, and remain competitive – never mind the ridiculous time line.

    • I would have thought with Europe’s leadership history the people would be more suspicious of one world government out to save humanity.
      I believe I’ve seen this movie before.
      Why is that?

      • Now why is it that England is told by the EU to close down its power and meet emissions reductions, and France has been told to close down its nuclear plants, and yet Germany continues to generate coal power.
        Does anyone think the Germans will actually be selling electricity to their power impoverished neighbors?

    • Politicians in Germany (and everywhere) will sign their countries up to any nitwit treaty safe in the knowledge they will be long gone before the day of reckoning arrives.

    • I’ve thought the same thing. German scientists and engineers, so often the worlds finest, treated with such contempt in their own country.
      As in the UK, when these grandiose anti-CO2 schemes were hatched, there were undoubtedly competent people who said that such pigs could never fly. But they were ignored.
      It seems Germany caught the post WW2 environmental hand-wringing guilt worse than many nations, for obvious reasons. The Fukushima event gave the antinuclear lobby succour, despite the radiation killing nobody, and the tsunami killing many, many thousands. Greenpeace is strong with the dark side.

    • They (the leadership) can’t be too bright – they’re using a 1000 year tsunami as an excuse to shut down landlocked reactors. I think the problem is more related to the politics of the wicked witch from the east.

    • >>I could never understand how a country as smart as Germany could ever buy into the idea they could reduce CO2 emissions by 40%, not use nuclear, and remain competitive – never mind the ridiculous time line.<<
      A) The warm-mongering watermelons are still actively rolling around.
      B) They have been deceived by those industries that make a profit from subsidies.
      C) They are not really interested in common sense.
      D) They didn't get their numbers right.
      They are not as smart as you think

    • Robert of Texas:
      “I could never understand how a country as smart as Germany could ever buy into the idea they could reduce CO2 emissions by 40%, not use nuclear, and remain competitive – never mind the ridiculous time line.”
      Reducing CO2 emissions would be feasible if methods included building nuclear power. The real ‘smartness’ was that the Merkelists decided to close nuclear power plants because of Fukushima tsunami accident. That just does not add up.
      One of the reasons to this stupidity is the historically strong ‘Green’ movement that somehow is backed up by solar and wind power lobbyists.
      It is also possible that producers of conventional energy are seeing an opportunity here, because the end-user price of electricity went up following implementation of these mad ideas.

      • “One of the reasons to this stupidity is the historically strong ‘Green’ movement that somehow is backed up by solar and wind power lobbyists.”
        Siemans is a rather large German electrical equipment supplier.(Solar panels need transformers etc etc etc).
        It’s one thing to have a ‘cash for clunkers’ program where the replacement is a domestically produced item.
        It’s a whole other thing when the replacement is an imported item. German manufacturing concerns are no longer getting fat feeding at the green trough…Chinese manufacturers are.
        The politics of subsidizing an ‘imported’ item is generally extremely poor.

  4. And in other developments….
    In a joint press conference with US president Barack Obama in Beijing last week Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would continue to increase CO2 emissions until 2030. China is currently increasing emissions every year by the equivalent of Australia’s total emissions and Xi’s statement means this will continue. The announcement was applauded by the world media.
    Xi said that by 2030 fossil fuels will provide 80% of China’s energy. Renewables such as wind and solar power will produce only 3%. Xi implied that it was important that USA and Europe continue to take the lead in renewables as they seemed to be able to tolerate low levels of growth and high levels of unemployment.

    • It sounds like a really good deal; –
      USA & EU agree to reduce emissions of CO2 ( both will have to shut down most industry to achieve that).
      China continues to build up its manufacturing economy and increase emissions of CO2
      By 2030 USA & EU will be forced to buy most things from China (or India) at whatever price they want to charge. (the law of supply & demand)
      World CO2 will be about the same as if the emissions of CO2 originated from USA & EU.
      It’s a really good deal…..just wish I was Chinese !!!

      • If the greenest ever took their argument to its conclusion, then all of the worlds GDP should be created in the US, if not the western world. Look at the carbon emission divided by Gdp throughout the world. Then the western worl can give money to these polluting basket cases.

    • “Xi implied that it was important that USA and Europe continue to take the lead in renewables as they seemed to be able to tolerate low levels of growth and high levels of unemployment.”
      Did he really? Do you have the exact quote? I missed that one. If true, Ouch. If he did that is a kick in the nards and funny as h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

    • Although the Greens haven’t realized it yet and have universally lauded President Obama’s recent agreement with the Chinese, logic dictates that the arrangement is proof that there is no urgency whatsoever to reduce CO2 emissions.

      • Exactly. It’s just a sign of pseudo “Good Will” by the Chinese. And B. Obarmy traipsed into that trap with a grin of doubtful meaning.

    • He didn’t imply that at all and he certainly didn’t say anything that came close to that. What he conveyed was that China was not going to change drastically in the short term but everyone knows that. China cannot be turned around that quickly even if it wanted to. The whole debate is a delusion to allow western politicians to feel good about their position. Next time someone starts on about CO2 ask them where most of their goods come from and then ask them how much CO2 is used to make said stuff. Most people like their modern lifestyles, don’t worry we will continue on the present path.

  5. The biggest weakness of the “lets drastically cut our carbon emissions” groups is not saying how they propose to do it. With numbers. And prices.
    This is followed by the main stream media’s failure to ask, “How?” and “How much?”

    • Speed, watch California. Their 2006 Climate Change Act mandated 1/3 renewable electricity by 2020. Wind, and solar like Ivanpah (working at the moment at half planned capacity-they forgot about clouds). More hydro expressly ruled out. In 2013 CPUC realized intermittency would crash the California grid by 2015 (brownouts, rolling blackouts predicted by the two main utilities), so mandated a further 1.3 GW of energy storage. In a fashion that rules out the long stalled, environmentally benign pumped storage project at Eagle Crest (abandoned iron ore pit mines). The only problem is that no such energy storage technologies presently exist. They are being invented (maybe, maybe not). Details in essay California Dreaming in Blowing Smoke.
      IMO it will take a few energy train wrecks like California to bring voters to their senses.

    • “This is followed by the main stream media’s failure to ask, “How?” and “How much?””
      Yes, that is pretty interesting. Goes along the lines “is no price too high to protect the environment”, which is a pretty good question to make a difference between a green airhead and an economist/engineer.

  6. Der Spiegel is as reliable as Time. (I lived in Germany for 6 years, and still read it in German.) Not fact reliable. Heavens no, just like Time. Politically reliable.
    In this case, Spiegel is reporting leaking inside stuff to try to build pressure not to back down on official policy, when industry, the grid operators, and the energy ministry knows Germany must, or else abandon the foolish Merkel decision to shut their nucs prematurely. Wishful Energiewende thinking colliding with reality in Europe’s economic ‘engine’.
    Should be fun to watch this slow moving train wreck. Lets hope wreckage is flying before Paris COP 2015.

    • Even Soros must be having trouble propping up the Euro to twice its value. Its strength just doesn’t make bread and butter sense. The Canadian dollar is only 70 euro cents with Canada awash in oil, gas and natural resources. Canada comparatively missed the recession and Europe is shredding itself.

  7. What amazes me, is why they keep pushing for this when they know it is not true. They know the drama about extreme weather is rubbish because the own propaganda sheet, the IPCC report says so. Yet they continue to go down this energy poverty way.
    Germany has learnt the hard way that the rent seeking windfarm and solar generators so not work. Why then having learnt a hard lesson and seen it fail in Spain, do they continue?
    Why so pig headed?

  8. This is what is meant by the expression “chickens coming home to roost”.
    It is impossible to rely on “green energy” for power, not if you wish to keep your country out of the economic ditch. The German officials have laid this nest of cockatrice eggs and now the fools have to strangle the monster brood that they hatched. Good fun watching these hapless politico fumblers.

    • Racehorse (oh, that is over at CA), this about a Der Spiegel article. Not GWPF, who reported a report on it. Go to the primary sources. Don’t read German, at least try Google translate. The energy minister has urgently recommended immediately abandoning the 2020 targets. Fact. And the underlying reason facts are clearly on his side. Along with all of industry, and even (it appears now) some unions. He is presenting the stark facts behind a political choice.

  9. >>As the German President publicly berates the Aussie Prime Minister at the G20, with the statement “Climate change won’t stop at the Pacific Islands”, behind the scenes<<
    It is not really important, but Chancellor Merkel is not the "German President". In Germany the chancellor has the same function as the prime minister in Australia. The current President of Germany is Joachim Gauck who would have told the same kind of nonsense of course. So this little mistake doesn't matter much… 😉

    • Obama and Merkel berate their host at the G20. What is it about progressives that makes them so objectionable? The European leadership reacted the same way when Austria had the temerity to elect a right wing leader IIRC.

      • Funny, they didn’t like it much when the Canadian Prime Minister scolded them and advised them on wiser courses for their economies about half a dozen years ago (Harper is an economist). They have been dumping on this upstart Canada ever since, … even the Eurocentric UN sent speech makers over to criticise how the country treats its poor, its native people, conducts seal hunts,…. etc. etc. These Progressives do have thin skins, along with other thin things. How dare you!!

  10. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the politicians say or what substantial targets they set. Significant CO2 reductions are technically impossible given current technology or would otherwise bankrupt the country. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence saw that from the beginning. So expect a continuation of bold announcements followed by weaseling out of them later.
    Although usually a politician does not expect to be successful enough in the long run to be the same person who set the bold target and who did the weaseling.

  11. “Climate change won’t stop at the Pacific Islands”
    The hypocrisy aside, has anyone noticed the complete reversal of the CAGW meme?
    When the alarmism fist began, we heard shrieks like “its happening already in the Arctic!”. This, supposedly due to “arctic amplification”. Now that the Arctic is refusing to be ice free, and the Antarctic is setting ice extent records, suddenly they want to talk about it as if it is “happening already” in the Pacific, on islands.
    I turned on the seat heaters in my car today. Warming my _ss!

    • …maybe borrow some “hot air” from die Furher… 🙂
      Coal will never run try …by the time it becomes low in supply we will be using some new super new renewable technology to keep from freezing…. VODKA

    • Dang right. Then for a while there we had lots of noise about worsening storms, droughts, wildfires …. then a few honest publications mumbled quietly that “it ain’t quite so..” and so they went back to “hottest [fill in the blank] ever!” and “rising sea levels!” … which is about all they have to go on right now.
      Although there are still a few blogs out there that love to drag up the worst ever storm/drought/fire theme occasionally.

  12. If the braindead morons hadn’t shut down so much of their nuclear power, they probably wouldn’t even be having these discussions. At the time Merkle claimed they could meet their reduction agreements without nuclear, replaced by coal plants.

  13. Germany abandons a renewable battery energy factory. Germany abandons nuclear power in favor of gas and coal. But then Germany has the cheek during the G20 talks to aks Australia to work harder on reducing CO2 emissions.

  14. Overall, the politicos are going to feel the pain of the public when the global economies fail…partly to their buying into the green movement…econazis throwing the world into the dark ages.

    • The global economy won’t fail because of the ‘partly buying into the green movement’, it will fail because of lack of growth, in turn because of lack of increasing demand, in turn because of saturated global markets. We need alien help.

  15. Jesus seemed to think that hypocrisy was the worst of crimes, but it appears to have some real uses. Such as saving your country from idiotic public policies and beginning to back off from panic over warning that is not even happening.

  16. In the face of economic meltdown across the EU the “emperors new clothes” of renewables and climate change have finally been shown as a scam!

    • No it hasn’t. You just want to believe that. The EU continues to press for energy use change. The fact that the numbers and technology won’t allow that to happen seems to be something they cannot grasp. The German experience is interesting only because they manufacture so much and therefore are effected by these changes greater than e.g. the UK, which relies on China for most of its manufactured goods.

  17. And therein lies the fatal blunder by the Greens and the politicians. They thought you could shame and scare the world into being fossil fuel free over night. Turns out you can’t put the fossil fuel switch to off and that means their hopes of claiming to be the saviors of the world based on limiting CO2 are doomed. Instead they will become the laughing stock because business, life, and CO2 are going to go on as usual at least for this century without any ill affects on people. All of our efforts to discredit the science and propaganda didn’t come close to the reality that even if they were right what they want can’t be done without suffering serious health, living standard, and economic problems. The cure is worse than the supposed problem. Unfortunately some of the damage they’ve done so far may be long lasting… children today being taught CO2 is the boogieman.

    • The only real way to cut consumption and emissions is to cut populations, not very trendy but there must be a number at which population and planet resources balance. Forcing 1st world countries to abandon industrialisation and return to poverty in the mad chase to reduce a trace gas is bonkers.

      • Most so called 1st world countries don’t manufacture much as a percentage of their GDP well by comparison to themselves 100 years ago or e.g. China today. That’s the nonsense of the argument, we have exported our CO2 needs that’s all. People like their modern lifestyles e.g nobody really cycles to work, well unless you love in the Netherlands of course.

    • In the UK the effect will not just be long lasting but a permanent destruction of the UK economy and way of life. The Climate Change Act requires 80% of UK energy (30 – 35 GW) to come from renewables . ie wind. At present , according to the grid watch:
      wind supplies 1.67GW of the 41GW demand. Over the course of a year that contribution can vary from 0.4 to 6GW . Now from the same website it is estimated that 35GW from wind requires 17 – 35000sq km of land , compared to a total UK land area of 244000 sq km . Even allowing for placing 1/2 of the wind farms off shore , because England in particular is one of the most densely populated countries in the world , up to 3 million people will have to be relocated or forced to live underneath the turbines .
      The cost to the UK GDP will be so colossal that the country will have to turn to the IMF for help (again!) and will the rest of the world ie mainly USA and Germany want to help rescue UK from its entirely self imposed madness? Only if it is not itself going through the same idiotic trauma.

    • Well spoken, markl.
      The Greens, as you said, are just scaremongering and trying to grab power, while posing as ‘saviors of the world’. They’ve succeeded in exploiting fear to grab political power, but have clearly failed as saviors.
      And you are correct that there is really no compelling need to ‘save the world’ from CO2, because there is no compelling proof that man-made CO2 causes climate catastrophes.
      There are far worse evils, emanating from the Middle East.

  18. Goldie makes a very good point.
    The current regime for calculating carbon dioxide emissions unfairly casts countries like Australia as high emitters because of the energy exports. I think it would be interesting if the carbon emissions were calculated in the same may as consumption taxes with the ultimate consumer of the energy being attributed all of the emissions produced in extracting and transporting the energy to them. This would make the emissions figures for the hypocritical Europeans look even worse

    • Not only that, this stupid, unfair per capita crap that penalises small populations over large ones and completely ignores the ultimate goal. CO2 fertilisation alone has increased uptake in Australia so that in 2014 we will be ABSORBING more CO2 than in 1999. Australia has already reached Nett Zero. It should be noted that in 1999 we absorbed almost 20 times what we emitted, and with global greening in 2014 we will absorb more than 21 times what we emit simply because plant growth is up some 6%. 6% × 20 is 1.2 so total absorbtion is now 21.2 times. By the time CO2 reaches 430 PPM our absorbtion will be up to 23 times our emission. I wanna know where our payments are for sinking the rest of the worlds CO2 emissions.

    • The hypocrisy of the Austrialian Greens (and Merkel for that matter) is that:

      In 2010, Australia was the world’s largest coal exporter and fourth-largest liquefied natural gas exporter. Australia is one of the few countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that is a significant net hydrocarbon exporter, sending abroad about two-thirds of its total energy production. Energy exports accounted for 34% of total commodity export revenues. At $36 billion in 2010, coal represented over half of energy export revenue.
      If they really were serious they would cut off all those coal burning polluters by the source, wouldn’t they?
      Oh wait, then Australia would have to find $36 BILLION BUCKS of other stuff to export…

  19. There was another interesting German climate news item on the same day: The “Mercedes” company (which isn’t really called that) will shut down Germany’s ONLY car battery factory. Another supposed future tech that got no future in Germany…

  20. Angela Merkel has been a big wheel in German Politics for 9 years which is a long time in any political system. A politician who does not talk out both sides of his mouth will not hang to his office for very long. Angel Merkel talks out of both sides of her mouth. So what?

  21. Environment minister, SPD’s Hendricks, wants 40% CO2 reduction and coal power plant closures if necessary. Come what may, the climate shall be saved!
    Vice chancellor , SPD’s Gabriel, wants to preserve the stream of incoming loot aka tax payer money, – Come what may, the loot shall be saved!
    The media take this or that position depending on what they think will work better to save them from their imminent death.
    The German citizen watches the spectacle with disgust, and apathy, and hopes both the media and the bloc parties just die. Oh and the EU please.

  22. Whatever the politics, they have no chance of achieving the 40%. Most of the reductions already achieved since 1990 were during the early 1990’s after shut down of old East German heavy industry.
    Emissions have actually risen since 2009, a new tranche of coal power stations is coming on line and most nuclear is still operating (currently contributing 17% of power, and due to close by 2022).
    All the figures are here

  23. @Walter Sobchak
    ..Angela Merkel has been a big wheel in German Politics for 9 years which is a long time in any political system. A politician who does not talk out both sides of his mouth will not hang to his office for very long. Angel Merkel talks out of both sides of her mouth. So what?
    Margaret Thatcher was a cabinet minister for 20 years and a Prime Minister for 11, without changing her principles one iota.

  24. One key to understanding what is going on is that Merkel is not trying to make sense, but is governing strictly following opinion polls. If a frantic majority is running scared and clamouring for shutting down nukes, that is what she will do, come hell or high water. If the majority wants to save the climate by any means possible, she will pretend to “lead” the way in that direction, also, and simply wait until it dawns on the populace that this would mean economic suicide. Then, when time is ripe, she will reverse course. Simple.
    Before the election in 2005, when she was widely regarded as a shoo-in for victory, she did her best to give a Maggie Thatcher impression. By doing so, she almost managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, beating down-and-out Schroeder by a razor-thin margin. She learned her lesson, like a good girl, and ever since has stood for exactly nothing but carefully governing to public opinion.

  25. So. Importing a phrase. And forget about what Mein Führer links to Your President.
    brg – Hans

  26. Whenever I encounter the phrase “Carbon Footprint”, I have to gag, and then I generally swear a lot, until the nausea fades. I always try to imagine this trail of carbonized imprints we are all leaving everywhere, like some post historic Diplodoci, trudging wearily through the carboniferous bogs, of yesteraeon.
    I had hoped that serious people would have by now have passed through this climate alarum
    and moved on from carbonized footmarks, like we once moved on from casting bronze keepsakes of baby footprints, and regained some sanity, but I have despaired, there are so few
    willing to think, and so many able to parrot.

  27. Hang on. Was this Aussie rip shirt completely dead set against AGW and labelled it as nonsense? We need to see who or what is pulling his strings.
    If Angie pee’d off Putin completely, he might decide not to supply her EU with gas. So who is pulling her strings because businesses are butt aching from the loss of trade to Russia at the moment.. And Russia still requires paying!

  28. Germany will, unless there’s a change in course allowing nuclear power plants to operate, either be burning more coal by 2022 than it did in 1990; or the cities will be burning due to riots with millions more out of work after the collapse of energy-intense manufacturing sector. With France already on the brink of collapse; embracing a shutdown of its nuclear power sector (IIRC it provides ¾ of all electrical power in France), all of Western Europe is likely to suffer a similar fate.
    ISTM that that is what the Greens have always wanted.
    Germany’s Vice-Chancellor SIgmar Gabriel “sees” the queues of the unemployed already; not just those from the proposed shutting down of coal mining in Germany, but also the consequences of companies moving their real business to countries with cheaper energy. Coal is the heartbeat of Germany.
    The figures:
    Gross electricity production 2013 by source
    Brown coal 25.5%
    Nuclear energy 15.4%
    Hard coal 19.3%
    Natural gas 10.7%
    Mineral oil products 1.1%
    Renewable energy sources 24.0%
    Other energy sources 4.0%
    NB: The renewables include hydro and biomass. Wind amounted to 8% and PV solar to 5%.

  29. Energy supplies threatened by tension with Putin, Eurozone slowing down… of course she is building coal fired stations. She isn’t an idiot.

  30. I offered a $20 000 even money bet on the Guardian website yesterday that Germany would not meet its 2020 target. No takers yet but you never know. Will let you know the outcome.

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