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On the eve of the G7, Germany defies the IPCC

Eric Le Lann Essayist

At the beginning of April, in the third part of its sixth report, which incidentally has still not been translated into French by our government, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for carrying out or accentuating as quickly as possible policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The summary for policymakers challenged them: “To limit global warming to less than 2°C, emissions need to decline by around 25% by 2030 in most pathways. » Scenarios therefore insisted on the need for global emissions “start to decline well before 2030”.

Shamelessly, barely three months after this arrest, the government of the host country of the G7, Germany, announced a week ago that it would use more coal-fired power plants to produce electricity. Markus Krebber, chairman of the main German energy group RWE, said without laughing that it was not of a retreat” but “at most one step aside” with regard to international commitments. Remember that this government had already announced a few weeks ago massive and rapid investments, half financed by the State, to accommodate the LNG carriers transporting shale gas from the United States.

This decision helps us to assess at their true value the declarations which will not fail to appear in the press releases of the G7 which is being held on June 27 and 28. Actions contradict words. We will promise to do better… after 2030.

The war in Ukraine and its consequences will no doubt provide the lazy explanation intended to hide the reality. Already, in 2021, due to unfavorable climatic conditions (less wind for wind power), German renewable electricity production had fallen by 7%, with fossil fuels taking over to produce half-carbon electricity (six times more than that produced in France). The largest consumer of electricity in Europe has planned to complete this year at all costs the exit from civil nuclear power, which still provided 12% of electricity production in 2021, and refuses to postpone the shutdown of the last reactors which nevertheless produce largely carbon-free electricity (4 g of CO2 per kWh for nuclear power, against 418 g for gas, 1,058 g for coal, around 10 g for wind power and 30 g for photovoltaic solar power) . By responsibility or by necessity, Belgium, less powerful, has nevertheless just had the courage to postpone this judgment for ten years.

This decision is all the more revolting as Germany is one of the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases per capita (8.5 tonnes of CO2 in 2019), almost twice as much as France (4 .8 tons), ahead of China so often blacklisted (8.3 tons) and far ahead if we count the cumulative emissions still present in the atmosphere.

Like the Borne government, which probably does not want to offend the German government, the parties that campaigned on the exit from nuclear power are discreet about this shameful announcement. Are they going to start a salutary reflection, as the Finnish Greens have just done, which now counts nuclear energy as a” durable energy “, after the Swedish Greens? We are also waiting for the organizations behind the Case of the Century to come out of their deafening silence. When is a trial? We should put an end to this kind of omerta on German energy policy.

For our country, contrary to this decision, the opening of a major public debate with a view to the adoption in 2023 of a climate energy programming law that makes it possible to achieve carbon neutrality can be an essential moment. and practicality of a democracy that respects international agreements, and quite simply humanity.