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International news: two European countries action 2050 climate plan

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Last week 195 countries entered into a pact to slow the effects of global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. pic credit: better business torkusa

On Monday, Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said that the country will reveal its climate action plan for 2050, which includes the scrap of coal, during the course of next year—an announcement that follows the global climate pact between 195 countries in Paris last week.

Climate plan: phasing out fossil fuels

The unbinding pact, which will only come into effect by 2020 should there be a 55% vote, and those who account for 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is aimed to drive the transition from fossil fuel to clean power with efforts to reduce carbon emissions and slow the impact of global warming, Climate Action reported.

Hendricks said: “It is completely clear that we need to exit fossil energy sources by the middle of the century.”

According to Climate Action, coal was responsible for around 44% of electricity generated in Germany in 2014. The country has set itself a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

Ireland following suit

Platts reported that Ireland is mirroring Germany’s efforts, by setting a goal of 80-95% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and complete decarbonisation by 2100. This was according to a white paper released by the country’s energy department on Wednesday.

Energy minister Alex White, said in a statement by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources: “For the first time an Irish Government has set its course on the eventual elimination of fossil fuels from our energy system.

“We will only achieve this ambitious degree of decarbonisation by engaging all citizens in energy policy and its implementation. Meeting the challenge of global warming can no longer be confined to the realm of international treaties or Government decisions.”

The department added, that Ireland will move away from high-carbon fuels such as peat and coal toward lower-carbon or renewable energy in the short-to-medium term, before largely replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources by 2050.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector will fall to zero or below by 2100,” the department said.

In addition, the department added that it will design and implement a National Energy Forum to “maximise and maintain consensus on policy measures required to achieve the energy transition.”

Large-scale renewable energy infrastructure will receive its own Renewable Electricity Policy and Development Framework. The department added that plans would include the development of energy storage as well as an economic assessment of the potential for biogas energy.


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Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.