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Factbox: New German climate targets due on Wednesday

3 minute read

The lignite power plants of "Neurath New", Niederaussem, and "Neurath Old" of German energy supplier and utility RWE are pictured in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT, May 11 (Reuters) - The German cabinet is due to agree on tighter sector targets for carbon emission curbs on Wednesday and probably bring forward an exit date for ending coal generation currently set at 2038.

A draft law, seen by Reuters, showed the energy sector was identified as a key CO2 emissions cutter via electrification. It must curb carbon pollution by nearly two thirds.

This is far ahead of only slightly higher targets for industry and a lower target for agriculture in the revised draft vis-à-vis the original. read more

The moves follow a court ruling last month that a 2019 law did not go far enough to ensure climate protection. It may well become a blueprint for stricter environment action by governments elsewhere. read more

Germany is also seeking to gain an edge in low-carbon technologies. read more

The draft law will affect this year's general election campaign when Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives must hone their green profile, with Greens currently leading in the polls.

HIGHER OVERALL EMISSION TARGETS

Germany will now aim for a 65% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2045, up from a previous 55% for 2030 and net zero by 2050.

Germany's actual CO2 emissions are currently 40% below the 1990 level and the new targets will mean further reductions in the 2020s. The law stopped short of making detailed recommendations for post-2030.

LEVER

The most important tool to implement the law will be a levy on carbon pollution charged to suppliers of heating and transport fuels since Jan. 1.

By collecting an initial 25 euros per tonne CO2 equivalent, due to rise to 55 euros a tonne, it enforces emission cuts while raising money for the government to help consumers with rising heat, electricity and travel bills. read more

The draft law expressly allows a "different pricing structure" in order to drive a departure from old oil and gas heating systems and purchases of battery-powered cars.

Reporting by Vera Eckert and Markus Wacket, editing by Nick Macfie

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