September 29, 2023

Protecting the climate: and two percent saving the world

This is mainly due to the early and extensive use of coal to generate electricity and smelt ores. All previous emissions from German territory contribute to global carbon dioxide2-137 ppm increased with 5 to 6 ppm at. This is a high value. And there’s still a lot of carbon dioxide added. By the planned zero point in 2045, the federal government’s most optimistic planning still envisages emissions of 7.8 billion tons. If you take the previous proportions as a basis, then this is enough for an increase of 0.5 ppm around the world.

“But China and India…”

It is true that Germany is currently in the top ten in carbon dioxide2The polluter lags far behind countries such as China, India and the USA. China is responsible for about 30 percent of emissions, the United States for 12 percent, India for seven percent, and Russia for nearly five percent. In India and China in particular, emissions have increased dramatically since 1990, and in China they have more than quadrupled over this period. Protecting the global climate will not be possible without these countries working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, no one ever claimed that Germany could save the global climate on its own and achieve the goal set out in the Paris Climate Agreement of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees if possible, but in any case less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. . a period. Germany has very limited means of forcing either China or the United States to do something in the area of ​​climate policy. But the opposite is also true, as each country is responsible for its own policy.

It is also important to put the numbers straight. China and India have a population of 1.4 billion, while Germany has a population of only 84 million. When opponents of climate protection use the argument of the 2% here in this country, the Indians and the Chinese can point out that 35% of all people live in the two countries together, while in Germany only 1% live. India can also claim that the country’s per capita emissions, at 2.5 tons, are three and a half times less than Germany’s. India’s historical emissions from the combustion of oil, coal and natural gas total 57 billion tonnes, which is just 61% of the previous German total. With per capita emissions of 9.9 tons, China can claim that the German value has only fallen below that level since 2019.

And we should not forget that the German economy imports large quantities of goods from China and other countries, the production of which releases carbon dioxide there. Germany buys more goods from China than the other way around. If we consider only industrial goods, Germany emits more carbon dioxide, according to analysis by the Federal Statistical Office2Emissions from what you import. But if you add in the agricultural imports of, say, soybeans from South America, the German CO2 total increases2-emission by a third, according to calculations by sustainability researcher Marco Schmidt of the University of Pforzheim. At a table in a tavern in São Paulo, it could rightly be said that part of Brazil’s emissions should be attributed to Germany.

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Many countries and regions can use the 2 percent argument

Also, many countries, states and regions in the world emit only a small percentage of global carbon dioxide2emissions. Of all the countries, Germany is the best compared to Japan. The island nation is one of the leading industrialized nations, has a slightly larger population, and emits around 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide.2 per year for free. Opponents of Japan’s climate protection measures might argue a little differently: “But Japan accounts for only 3 percent of global emissions!”