With all eyes on America during Elections 2016, Germany probably hoped its climate actions back home would go unnoticed. In particular, the indefinite pause on its once ambitious long-term climate mitigation strategy; Klimaschutzplan 2050. Yet, the NGO members present at COP22 maintained their focus and opted to award Germany the weeks second Fossil of the Day.
Previously touted as a climate champion during COP21, Germany was expected to implement significantly progressive and ambitious domestic mitigation strategies. Through these targets, it was believed that Germany would be able to meet their INDC targets set in Paris last year. Over the course of recent months however, Germany’s once progressive strategy had been increasingly watered down. The new revamped Klimaschutzplan 2050 was set to be passed by German Parliament in recent days. Yet, in a startling turn of events, the Agreement was indefinitely postponed by the countries Economy and Energy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel. Some were shocked at the actions of this former German Environmental Minister, especially as COP22 had already kicked off.
Germany’s Klimaschutzplan 2050 would have seen the implementation of a minimum price for carbon dioxide in the European Union Emissions Trading System. This move was intended to incentivize a corporate transition towards renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power. Yet, Gabriel’s intention is to remove this pricing mechanism so that the coal industry can continue to operate as an economically viable energy source.
While this political manoeuvering occurred back in Germany and not at the COP itself, its implications will still be felt at the UN negotiations. The plan was meant to be brought with fanfare to Morocco by Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, in order to further solidify Germany as a climate leader. However, it seems she will come to COP22 empty handed.
Fossil of the Day is awarded by Climate Action Network (CAN), a network of environmental organisations, to the country or countries they deemed to have played a negative role in the negotiations.