Germany Adopts Plan to Cut Carbon EmissionsNasdaq, December 3, 2014
Germany on Wednesday sought to put its ambitious shift to clean energy back on track after a decision to speed up the phasing-out of clean nuclear power led carbon-gas emissions to rise for the last two years.
The government adopted a broad catalog of measures, ranging from new subsidies for homeowners who insulate their houses to mandatory emissions cuts for energy producers. Berlin said the steps would ensure Germany meets its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 40% from their 1990 level by 2020–a goal twice as ambitious as the European average and one that appears increasingly beyond reach.
Germany’s plan to wean the country off nuclear and fossil fuels by midcentury–a flagship policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel dubbed the Energiewende, or energy revolution–made the country a poster child for environmentally friendly growth when adopted three years ago. But an avalanche of unintended consequences, including rocketing electricity prices and rising emissions, is threatening to discredit the effort.