Great German Success

The final numbers for Germany’s performance under the Kyoto Protocol have been released recently, and they are fantastic.

Germany has beat its ambitious goal of 21% reduction compared to 1990 by a comfortable margin, getting to 25.5 percent. Take that, Australia!

To be exact, the goal under the Kyoto Protocol was to have the average of the years between 2008 and 2012 lower than  974 million tons CO2 equivalent. Germany has almost reached the goal with 975 million in 2008 and beaten it every year since then, for a cumulative performance of 192 million tons over the Kyoto targets.

Of course, this success is nice to have, but it is only one first small step on the way. Germany and all other countries need to get to zero emissions as fast as possible, and then to negative emissions (by using energy to suck it up).

And while these are fantastic numbers, the real contribution from Germany to solving the global warming crisis was getting the prices of solar energy down massively to the point that all countries now can use that technology to get rid of fossil fuel fast. The ebbing tide lifts all the boats. That has not come cheap, costing about 0.14% of German GDP. But it was the right thing to do, since Germany has a special moral obligation to do as much as possible to counter climate change.

Related post: Great German Failure

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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