Germany seen missing CO2 target due to coal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has no chance of achieving its reduced CO2 emissions’ targets if it keeps building coal-burning power plants, an environmental group said on Thursday.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe studied the impact of new plants on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government’s CO2 targets and said it should either abandon the new plants or scrap plans to cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent between 1990 and 2020.

“The government’s 40-percent goal will definitely not be reachable if Germany continues to build coal-burning power plants,” the group’s managing director, Rainer Baake, said.

“Building new coal-burning plants is not compatible with any serious climate protection policy.”

German utilities are building or have plans to build 26 coal-burning plants. Some will take over from older, less efficient plants, but many will replace nuclear plants.

Germany needs the extra coal power to compensate for the loss of nuclear power, which now accounts for 30 percent of energy production. Nuclear power is being phased out by 2020.