Energy-induced CO2 emissions in Germany rose by 0.4% in 2003 from 2002, to just under 837 mill. t. The increase was chiefly due to the cold weather in the first quarter, while the lower level of economic activity kept emissions down. After adjustment for temperature factors there was a fall of 5.4 mill. t. of CO2 (-0.6%).
In view of the economic stagnation the fall in temperature-adjusted emissions is rather slight. It is a continuation of the restrained trend in emissions reduction. Nevertheless, Germany is still one of the few industrial countries in which CO2 emissions were reduced in the 1990s. Energy-induced CO2 emissions in 2003 were a good 15%, unadjusted, and nearly 17% after temperature adjustment, lower than in the internationally agreed base year 1990. However, the greater part of this reduction came in the first half of the 1990s. As the reduction was only moderate after 1995 the earlier national target of reducing CO2 emissions by one quarter from the 1990 level by 2005 has evidently been abandoned, and the internationally binding target agreed for 2008/2012, namely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21% from the 1990 level by then has been adopted. Without consistent efforts in climate policy there is admittedly a danger that even this much less ambitious target may not be met. So there is still need for action. But the emissions trading that is shortly to be introduced should help to achieve that target.