Companies in the energy and industrial sectors are allocated a certain number of emissions in Europe. These can either be used or sold, providing a financial incentive to reduce emissions. Starting this year, Germany also introduced a national emissions trading systems for the heating and transport sectors.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed a target to reduce emissions across the European Union to ‘net zero’ by 2050, meaning the amount released into the atmosphere can’t be greater than the amount captured again by natural or artificial means. Scientists say achieving that goal will help prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times.
Separately, the German government agreed Wednesday to increase the share of renewable fuels in the transport sector to 28% over the next decade — double the target set by the European Union as a whole. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany’s transport sector have hardly declined since 1990 as more and cars cars hit the road, outweighing the effect of more efficient engines.
The government’s plan, which needs to be approved by parliament, includes incentives for the use of electric cars, hydrogen and biofuels made from renewable sources.
Environmental groups said that the plan only requires the phaseout of palm oil for biofuels by 2026. Palm oil currently makes up a fifth of the biofuel used in Germany.
Airlines will be required to use at least 2% synthetic kerosene by 2030.