The world has been aware of global warming and the exploitation of non-renewable resources for a long time now. All the major countries of the world are trying to tackle this problem at hand. The Paris Convention is one of the major developments that took place and combined all the forces of the world to fight against climate change and global warming. Countries have started to develop ambitious goals for themselves to limit the use of non-renewable resources and move towards cleaner and renewable forms of energy. Europe isn’t behind either.
Germany has been the largest producer of carbon dioxide in Europe and the sixth largest in the entire world. The coal plants in Germany are fueling the fourth-largest economy of the world. According to the International Energy Agency, coal has provided about 42 percent of the energy in the country in 2016, but it has produced a lot of carbon dioxide too. So, how is Germany trying to put restrictions on something that is so essential for them?
Germany is planning to stop all kinds of coal power generation in the country by the year 2038. They are also planning to shut down about 84% of all the coal-powered plants. It’s a groundbreaking decision and Germany needs a round of applause for it. This great plan was announced by the Government-appointed body of regulations called the Coal Commission. They are looking for stern ways to control coal consumption in the world. And also trying to find ways to tackle global warming and climate change, hence this decision.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to adopt this plan. She is making sure that about 45 billion dollars are put into the project so that there could be proper transition done towards clean energy. The funding will also be directed towards the introduction of new job opportunities in the coal-rich areas like Saxony, Brandenburg, North Rhineland and Saxony-Anhalt. This plan will also try to get a 65 percent to about 80 percent of power generated from the renewable sources of energy by 2040. The remaining can be powered by natural gas.
Ronald Pofalla, the government commission, loved the agreements and mentioned, as per the report in Los Angeles Times, that it is a historic achievement. It is something that Germany feels proud of. It was always uncertain whether such a major breakthrough would be possible or not, but still, they were able to do it.
However, Jennifer Morgan, the Greenpeace Executive Director, was not very happy with the proposition. According to her, it is a great move that Germany has come together with the European neighbors and is actively taking part in the phasing out process. But according to many environmentalists, 2038 is too far a target. Climate change, as an effect of global warming, is occurring on a weekly basis as can be seen with the extreme weather conditions, forest fires, and sudden storms. It is necessary for countries to do something more drastic and faster, if any remedy or solution has to be reached. The solution for climate change is like an emergency which hundreds and hundreds of people have been demanding for and the 2038 deadline is too far.
While Germany has depended on coal for generating about 53 percent of the power since 2000, it has also seen some major increase in renewable energy sources too, especially in the form of solar photovoltaic and wind energy. It has already generated about 18 percent of the power with biofuels producing about 7 percent of the power in Germany. While nuclear power could have been an option, Germany has abandoned it since the Fukushima disaster that took place in Japan and hopes to shut down any remaining nuclear plants by the year 2022.
Things in Germany are already looking up. Last year, Germany was able to produce more energy by using renewable sources than that produced by coal. It shows that we can sustain without coal as well, with the right kind of implementations. Germany is on its way and other countries can use Germany’s inspiration and walk on this path too. For the planet and for humanity!
IMAGE CREDIT1: ai825
IMAGE CREDIT2: Vladimir Zhuravlev