German carbon emissions fell sharply in 2014


Germany was able to substantially reduce emissions of carbon gases in 2014, even if a major re-think is still needed in the transport and farming sectors, the German environment ministry said on Wednesday.

“For the first time in years, the emission of greenhouse gases fell sharply in Germany in 2014,” the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 901.9 million tons of carbon dioxide gases or equivalents were pumped into the air in Europe’s biggest economy in 2014, 43.3 million tons or 4.6 percent less than in 2013, the ministry said, quoting data compiled by the federal environmental protection agency, UBA.

The biggest drops were seen in the electricity generation sector — as a result of the ongoing transition to renewable energy sources — and in housing, the ministry said.

With the mild weather, lower volumes of oil and gas were consumed in residential heating, it added.

However, in the transport and agriculture sectors, greenhouse gas emissions increased, the ministry continued.

In the transport sector, emissions were up by 1.2 percent at 161 million tons of CO2 and equivalents, largely as a result of increased traffic, the ministry said.

“Effectively, there has been no progress in the transport sector since 2005,” it complained.

In the agriculture sector, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.2 percent to 66 million tons.

“The areas of transport and agriculture have been neglected far too long with regard to climate protection,” said environment minister Barbara Hendricks.

“This cannot go on. Transport and agriculture must make substantial contributions to climate protection in the future,” she said.

“We need a climate turnaround in all sectors. The climate protection plan 2050, which the government plans to present in the summer, will show the way to achieving this,” Hendricks said.