Between 1990 and 2003 worldwide annual emissions of CO2 increased from 22,700 Megatons (Mt) to 25,700 Mt. The share of the OECD countries in these emissions increased during this period from 3,700 Mt to 4,500 Mt.
The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is the greatest carbon emitter in Europe with a 24.2 % share of the total European Community (EC) emissions in 2001 (993.5 Mt CO2) which corresponds to ~3.4% of the world's total fossil fuel-based carbon emissions. Germany joined the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol) on 4th March 2002 as a member of the EC, which at that time comprised 15 countries. The EC committed itself to reduce its annual
average greenhouse gas emissions by the time period 2008 - 2012 by eight percent with respect to the base 1990 level (4204 Mt). Reduction targets were allocated to the individual member countries in the "Burden Sharing Agreement" of June 1998 (Figure 1). According to this Agreement, Germany has to reduce emissions by 21% with respect to the 1990 level (1216.2 Mt CO2 equivalent emissions). In the national FRG climate protection program of 18th October 2000 the target was set to a reduction of CO2 emissions by 25% with respect to 1990 by 2005. By 2001 annual CO2 in emissions Germany had decreased by 18.3 % to 993.5 Mt putting the country ahead of the reduction target and in line with the United Kingdom, Sweden and Luxembourg.
GHG emissions (Mt CO2 equivalents)
] Portugal 27.0% □ Ireland 13.0% ] Sweden 4.0% France 0.0% Finland 0.0%
Luxembourg -28.0% [ Austria -13.0% d Belgium -7.5% Netherlands -6.0% I Denmark -21.0%[ Italy -6.5% I
United Kingdom -12.5%H
Figure 1. Greenhouse gas emission targets of EU Member States for 2008-2012 under the EU
The decision of the German government to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2020 will have serious implications on the energy supply and requires alternative solutions. For a transition period fossil fuels will remain an indispensable source of energy.
To further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the climate policy of the German government focuses on sustainable energies and the reduction of fossil energy consumption. R&D activities on CO2 sequestration and subsurface storage have played a comparatively minor role. Activities have, however, increased recently both on the capture and storage fields, in view of the start of trading of CO2 Emission certificates in 2005.
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