Climate goals hardly achievable

German physicists criticize the EU resolutions on climate policy

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Vollmundig and not understandable : This is the verdict of the Energy Working Group of the German Physical Society on the latest climate protection plans of the European Union. They envisage massively reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The physicists consider the climate goals to be important but they do not believe in their practical implementation.


A massively increased reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, as planned by the Federal Government, is hardly possible from the point of view of the German Physical Society (DPG). "From the perspective of us physicists, the full-bodied promises of the politicians are incomprehensible, " said Professor Walter Blum, spokesman of the working group "Energy", at the annual conference of the Society, the largest congress of physicists in Europe at the University of Regensburg.

Utopia or vision?

Recent EU decisions envisage a 20 percent reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. The extent to which Germany should contribute to this goal has not yet been conclusively decided, but the German government has repeatedly announced a more ambitious target of up to 40 percent. But even under conditions that are favorable from a climate point of view, at most a reduction in the emission of key greenhouse gases of around 30 percent can be achieved, says Professor Blum. To do this, however, the current expansion of renewable energies would have to be stepped up.

However, physicists do not believe in changing consumer behavior in their energy consumption, which is currently considered an important approach in political discussions. From a physical and technical point of view, one of the best steps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases is to increase the use of solar energy in North African deserts. In the meantime, appropriate technical solutions have been put in place for the transfer of the electricity thus generated to Europe, says Professor Blum, who works at CERN in Geneva. display

Germany as a pioneer

Germany has a pioneering role in the field of climate protection from an international perspective, according to Professor Eberhard Umbach, President of the German Physical Society. However, due to its small share of global greenhouse gas emissions of less than 5 percent, even great efforts would have little effect. It is therefore important to support countries such as China and India in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Professor Blum: "The climate problem is very big and serious. Previous steps point in the right direction, but are far from enough. "

(idw - University of Regensburg, 30.03.2007 - AHE)