Climate Protection Law: “Goal of greenhouse gas neutrality a very good step forward”

MCC expert Sabine Fuss: “CO2 removal from the atmosphere is now on the political agenda in Germany.”

Down, please: CO2 net emissions must go to zero. | Photo: Shutterstock/Animaflora


According to the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC, the draft of the Climate Protection Law that has gone public now contains a few important elements. "It is a very good step forward that greenhouse gas neutrality is now being targeted for the year 2050," explains Sabine Fuss, who heads the working group on Sustainable Resource Management and Global Change at the MCC. "This puts the issue of CO2 removal from the atmosphere on the political agenda in Germany." At the same time, the draft sets the course for ensuring that this is not at the expense of efforts to reduce emissions. "The aim is now to reduce emissions by at least 95 percent between 1990 and 2050, compared with 80 to 95 percent in the past – and 80 and 95 percent are worlds apart.

CO2 removal can be promoted by afforestation programmes, but also by a number of other measures. The most discussed technology is Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). For example, biomass is burned in power plants and the CO2 released is immediately captured and stored in deep geological repositories. "The draft of the Climate Protection Law is in line with what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated in its latest special report on the 1.5-degree target," explains Fuss, who contributed to the report as lead author. "In the coming decades, greenhouse gas emissions must be brought rapidly and clearly towards zero. And in order to close the remaining sustainability gap, the issue of CO2 extraction must now also be addressed if the technologies are to be available in the medium term."