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How sustainable is Germany?

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As per Global Sustainability Index, Germany is ranked 6th. Germany is aiming for green power and relying mostly on renewable energy sources for power production.

The 10 main policies Germany is implementing to switch to green power are:-

  1. They do not see nuclear power as the long-term solution but switch more towards renewable energy resources. All 17 nuclear power plants are completely shut down by 2022.
  2. The renewable energy Act was copied faster in the legislative act. The law provided a high priority on the grid to ensure that investors receive compensation for renewable energies irrespective of the electricity prices.
  3. The “eco-tax” has been high not only for gasoline and diesel vehicles but also for heating oil and fossil fuels to generate electricity.
  4. The cogeneration act 2002 was adopted by Germany to recover heat wasted in power generation.
  5. Being one of the coldest countries, the renewable heat act aims to use more renewable heating energy sources. The act is for both the new buildings as well as old buildings going through renovation.
  6. The expansion and update of the grid to meet the needs for renewable energy.
  7. The renovation of the older buildings for a better passive house standard with an effort for energy conservation ordinance. The country is also focused on building an efficient building strategy.
  8. To regulate the worst environmental performance of items such as consumer electronics, refrigerators, freezers, light bulbs, and electric motors, the ecodesign directive (ErP) was created. It aims to reduce power consumption by 12 percent by 2020.
  9. Germany is heavily investing in an alternative mode of transportation. Long-distance trains or the switch to electric vehicles.
  10. The country is investing in a recycling system and focusing on the importance of the waste management

The primary sustainable development goals Germany is focusing on are 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 ( Life below water), and 15 ( Life on Land).

The initiatives such as ‘Friday for Future’ in Germany are increasing the government pressure for more active environmental protection issues.

In 2019, Germany agreed on Climate and Energy Package to meet the emission reduction targets. The goal is set to be achieved by 2050 but the drawbacks are the lack of long-term vision. The project has been labeled as completely unclear and unambitious to meet the targets.

Germany is planning to be completely out of coal-fired power generation by 2038 but new coal plants are still in development. The targets for emission reduction are set for 2020, 2030, and 2040 by following the Climate Action Plan 2050.

Even though various policies and plans have been set by the German Government but nothing is as concrete as the countries like Sweden or Denmark. Even Finland and Norway are switching to renewable resources more strategically with different plans.

However, Germany compares to other EU countries moving much ahead just needs more clear and ambitious policies.

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