typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

German Environment Minister – aim to cut greenhouse emissions 40% by 2020

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OMG – isn’t it amazing what the rest of the world thinks, when compared to what the government tells us they think?!?! Firstly, for Australians, how refreshing is it to read about an environment minister that actually cares about the environment (fingers crossed we’ll have one soon) and secondly how good is it to read an article about dealing with climate change that hasn’t been written as though there’s an option?

The Germans are choosing 3 billion Euros of action now in preference to 130 billion Euros worth of consequence by 2050, and they’re also edging well away from nuclear expansion. Does this sound like, gee, I don’t know, the complete opposite of John Howard’s plan? As in – doing something intelligent and productive as opposed to something stupid and destructive?

Read the article here, highlights include:

Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, that the time had come to act. “We have all witnessed the dangers of climate change in the last few months. We only saw winter in the calendar in Germany,” he said, alluding to last year’s unusually mild winter.

 

Gabriel reminded the MPs that Germany needs to improve its energy efficiency by three percent per year in order to meet the EU target of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 percent below 1990-levels by 2020.

 

But the Environment Minister went further, proposing an eight-point plan that includes cutting Germany’s CO2 emissions by 40 percent within 13 years. Gabriel said he wanted to enlist industry’s help in pursuing this ambitious goal.

“We should set ourselves the goal of making Germany the most energy-efficient country in the world,” Gabriel told the MPs in Berlin.

and

The German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to generate over a quarter of its power from environmentally friendly sources by 2020, according to Gabriel. Wind turbines, photovoltaic (solar) panels and biofuels are some of the most common forms of green energy, and they have become a formidable market force in Germany.

 

But Gabriel criticized the government’s tacit approval of plans to build almost 30 new coal power plants on German soil, and he further attacked the conservative camp for advocating nuclear power as a “green” alternative. Nuclear power plants emit near-zero greenhouse gases, but nuclear waste and the possibility of a meltdown pose a different kind of environmental threat.

and finally

But Gabriel warned that Germany’s best efforts would be useless if the world did not follow suit. Chancellor Merkel has made climate change a high priority at the June G8 summit in Germany, but US President Bush, leader of the world’s heaviest-polluting nation, has been reluctant to sign on to greenhouse gas regulations.

 

“If we succeed in breaking the deadlock between the United States and some industrial countries (as in Australia, because Lichtenstein relented and signed Kyoto leaving US and, hmmmm, Australia) on the one hand and developing countries on the other, the chances don’t look bad,” Gabriel said. “I am quite optimistic.”

see also desmogblog
providing the antidote to environmental spin in this age of unfettered emissions.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

May 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

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