BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s cabinet agreed plans on Wednesday to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 78 million tonnes by 2020 to help Europe’s biggest economy meet ambitious targets to fight climate change.
Germany aims to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels. Following is a breakdown of the plans which will require several laws to go through parliament.
Coal plant operators will be required to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 22 million tonnes, equivalent to shutting about eight coal plants. Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said it is up to operators to decide how to do that.
He said he would draw up a draft law next year in conjunction with plans for a new power market design. Utilities want payments that would allow them to keep open plants on standby to ensure a secure supply of electricity.
A national efficiency action plan envisages savings of 25-30 million tonnes in CO2 emissions.
The KfW state development bank will have its building renovation programme topped up by 200 million euros a year to a total of 2 billion euros. In addition, 1 billion euros in tax relief will available per year until 2019 for building renovation or modernisation.
A range of measures could trigger investments of more than 80 billion euros, said the government.
The sector is to cut CO2 emissions by 10 million tonnes.
The government has acknowledged it looks likely to miss its goal of having 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020. New steps include allowing the owners of electric company cars to offset half the cost of the vehicle against tax.
Tighter rules on fertilisers and waste will help reduce emissions by about 3.5 million tonnes and 3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the agriculture and waste sectors respectively.
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Reporting by Madeline Chambers