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Germany has achieved its lowest emissions in 70 years by decreasing its dependence on coal.
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Germany has achieved its lowest emissions in 70 years by decreasing its dependence on coal.

Last year, Germany experienced its lowest emissions in 70 years due to the country’s efforts to decrease its dependence on coal, as it is the largest economy in Europe.

A research conducted by the think tank Agora Energiewende revealed that Germany released 673m tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2023, which is 73m tonnes less than the emissions in 2022.

The drop was “largely attributable to a strong decrease in coal power generation”, Agora said, accounting for a reduction of 46m tonnes in CO2 emissions.

The amount of pollution released by industrial activities decreased significantly, primarily because energy-intensive companies produced less.

In 2023, renewable sources accounted for over 50% of electricity generation for the first time, while coal’s portion decreased from 34% to 26%, according to the federal network agency.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany turned to coal as an energy source due to the cut off of gas supplies from Moscow. However, Germany has since decreased its reliance on fossil fuels.

The director of Agora, Simon Müller, stated that Germany’s renewable energy achievement aligns with their goal of generating 80% of their electricity from wind and solar by 2030.

Although there has been a decrease in the use of coal, the thinktank stated that “the majority of the reductions in emissions in 2023 are not feasible in terms of industry or climate policies.”

According to Müller, the decrease in production due to the crisis is damaging the German economy. Moving emissions to other countries does not address the issue of climate change.

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Overall, the think tank calculated that only 15% of the decrease in 2023 was considered to be long-term emission reductions.

In order to achieve its environmental goals, Germany required a series of investments to update its industries and decrease the greenhouse gas emissions from heating, according to Müller.

Source: theguardian.com