The Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) is an independent panel of five experts from different disciplines, appointed in September 2020 under Sections 11 and 12 of the Federal Climate Change Act (KSG). The council includes Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning (Chairman), Dr. Brigitte Knopf (Deputy Chair), Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge, Dr. Barbara Schlomann, and Prof. Dr. Thomas Heimer from Technopolis Germany.

The Council recently presented a report commissioned by the German Federal Government, reviewing the 2024 projection data for future greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis, conducted due to an amendment to the Federal Climate Change Act awaiting ratification, casts doubt on Germany’s ability to meet its climate targets for 2021 to 2030.

The Expert Council’s assessment suggests that while total emissions are expected to decrease by 2030, the decline will likely be less significant than projected. Emissions in the energy, buildings, transport, and industry sectors are believed to be underestimated due to methodological limitations and recent market developments.

Chairman Hans-Martin Henning emphasised that the 2024 projection data is overly optimistic and that the cumulative climate targets will likely not be achieved. Deputy Chair Brigitte Knopf highlighted the need for additional climate policy measures, especially in the buildings and transport sectors.

The council also stressed the necessity of a long-term strategy beyond 2030, as projections indicate missed targets for 2031 to 2040 and delayed greenhouse gas neutrality, possibly not reached by 2050. Recommendations include improving the process for compiling projection data and clarifying responsibilities within the Federal Government.

For more details, the special report is available in German at the Council of Experts on Climate Change website.

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