FRANKFURT, April 12 Germany's emissions of
greenhouse gases (GHGs) were 2.1 percent down year-on-year in
2011 at 916.7 million tonnes, as the impact of more renewable
energy kicked in and mild weather cut heating fuels use, data
from government agency Umweltbundesamt (UBA) showed on Thursday.
The emissions of six gases - widely blamed for global
warming - were down by 26.5 percent from the reference year
1990, exceeding a target for Germany to lower emissions by 21
percent under the Kyoto climate protocol in that period.
"The emissions reduction owed much to the benefit of
relatively mild weather. But the growing share of renewable
power and lower power exports also led to the decrease in
emissions," said UBA president Jochen Flasbarth in a statement.
UBA, which cited preliminary estimates, also said the result
showed that Germany's Kyoto targets could be met despite
economic growth and an accelerated exit from virtually
emissions-free nuclear power.
It said that in its view, European targets overall needed to
be tightened and the energetic efficiency of buildings needed to
Overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which account for the
bulk of GHGs were down 2.4 percent year-on-year at 799.7
million, UBA said.
It had reported last week that those CO2 emissions within
the total from German installations covered by the EU's
mandatory emissions trading scheme (ETS) totalled 450 million
tonnes last year, which was 1 percent below 2010.
The fall could have been sharper, if not for the German
government's decision to exit nuclear power in reaction to
Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant accident last March, prompting
more reliance on alternative energy sources, including the heavy
Japan's reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant
triggered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last
year shook the nuclear world and raised a question mark over
whether atomic energy is safe.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)