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Auditors slam spiralling cost of curbing German emissions

28 Sept 2018 05:02

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28 Sept 2018 05:02

(Montel) Germany is wasting billions of euros on climate policies that are failing to deliver results, the country’s federal audit office said in a report on Friday.

Germans spent EUR 34bn on measures to reduce emissions last year, yet the country was set to fall far short of a range of climate-related goals by 2020, the report said.

Targets to cut emissions, reduce primary energy use, increase efficiency and raise the share of renewable energy in transport are all set to fail, despite a sprawling bureaucracy and a plethora of incentive schemes.  

The audit office mostly blamed the failure on the economics and energy ministry, which has had primary responsibility for energy policy since 2013.    

“Deficient" system

“The coordination between various actors, measures and programmes is deficient,” said the body’s president Kay Scheller in a statement. 

“The economy ministry has 34 departments working on the subject [but] there is no point of intersect, there is no post with overall responsibility.”

Germans accessed less than half the funds available among eight of 16 incentive programmes last year, said Scheller.

Some programmes saw less than 1% of their available money used, even though Germany had great potential to cut emissions through better housing or cleaner transport, he added. 

The country should dispense with complex support mechanisms in favour of market-based incentives such as sharper carbon pricing, Scheller said.   

The economy ministry rejected the criticism. In a response, it called the office’s methodology “dubious” and suggested no cost evaluation was meaningful without counting the cost of inaction. 

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