date of issue 2018.06.08Statement: Start coal phaseout now
In order to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany needs to immediately initiate a coal phaseout. In its statement, the German Advisory Council on the Environment recommends the German federal government to define a carbon emissions budget for the remaining coal-based electricity generation.
In the Paris Climate Agreement, the global community set the target of keeping global warming well below 2°C. This necessitates drastic cuts in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In Germany, however, greenhouse gas emissions have not dropped substantially for eight years. This stagnation is attributable to a large extent to widely constant emissions from coal-based electricity generation. Therefore, it is crucial to immediately initiate a coal phaseout. Such a phaseout would bring along further environmental and human health-related benefits.
A coal phaseout can be structured socially responsible and without threatening security of supply. The SRU recommends the German federal government to define a carbon emissions budget for the remaining coal-based electricity generation. From a scientific perspective, this budget should not exceed 2.000 Mt CO2. Based on such a carbon budget decision, the German government should establish a commission that provides advice on the specific design of a coal phaseout path.
2017, 48 pages
ISBN 8-3-947370-12-2 (online file)