Germany is catching up in climate protection – wrestling at COP26

The planet is heading for warming with fatal consequences, and there is still no country in the world that is on an exemplary path. After all, Germany has improved slightly.

Glasgow – Germany has improved slightly in the global race for the best climate protection. The Federal Republic ranks 13th in the new climate protection index, after 19th place in the previous year.

60 countries and the EU were evaluated. Together they are responsible for 92 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted, as Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute reported on Tuesday at the UN climate conference in Glasgow. Less pleasant: shortly before the planned end of the mammoth summit on Friday, the negotiating teams from around 200 countries still have a lot of work ahead of them, as Chairman Alok Sharma admitted. And researchers published a sobering forecast that the planet is heading for a warming of 2.4 degrees.

The top group in the climate protection index are Denmark, Sweden and Norway – mainly thanks to great progress in the expansion of renewable energies. However, they were only classified in ranks four to six. Places one to three remained symbolically free, as in previous years. The reasons given by the authors: There is still no country in the world that is actually on a 1.5-degree path. What is meant is the target agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as far as possible compared to the pre-industrial era.

Measures are nowhere near enough

On the climate policy of Germany, co-author Jan Burck from Germanwatch said that the measures decided so far would “miss the legally prescribed targets for 2030 by a huge margin”. It is the “acid test” for the new federal government, whether it changes the course with an immediate program. According to Germanwatch, this includes phasing out coal by 2030, a “turbo” for the expansion of renewable energies and urgently fewer emissions in transport.

At the end of the table, according to the associations, there are “the biggest brakes”: Australia with the worst possible score of 0.0 – behind Brazil and Algeria. But five EU countries are also in the lowest category of “very bad” when it comes to climate policy: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.

China, which emits by far the most greenhouse gases, slips four places to 37th place, and in the overall ranking the gigantic empire is classified as “weak”. Beijing’s self-set goals for 2030 are far from a Paris-compatible path. On the other hand, the trend in renewable energies is very good, with the country roughly ahead of Germany in 23rd place.

The tower for a new wind turbine is being erected in an existing wind farm near Wismar.

© Jens Büttner / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

According to the authors, the first year under US President Joe Biden has had a positive impact on the second largest emitter, the USA. Last year, America climbed six places to 55th place, but remained in the “very weak” category.

Global warming climbs to 2.4 degrees

New forecasts by the Climate Action Tracker confirmed that much still needs to be improved in terms of climate protection. Even if the commitments of all states for the year 2030 are implemented, global warming will climb to around 2.4 degrees by the end of the century, according to the researchers. And if you just look at what the states are doing now and ignore further announcements, global warming will rise to 2.7 degrees. The CAT researchers found that halfway through the climate conference, there was a “credibility gap” between what was said and what was done.

An “optimistic scenario” of just 1.8 degrees warming is also conceivable – but only if all those countries keep their long-term commitments that want to become climate-neutral by the middle of the century. Most countries lacked reliable, concrete concepts for this, it said.

Greenpeace boss Jennifer Morgan called the forecast terrifying. “It is a devastating report that would induce governments in any healthy world to immediately settle their differences and, with uncompromising commitment, work out a deal to save our future.” while vulnerable states struggled for their lives and young activists called for justice. dpa

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