Heating law: Is Germany cheating on CO2 savings?
Heating law: Is Germany cheating on CO2 savings?

8 September 2023 – Has the biggest CO2 polluter in the EU, Germany, made the results of its new heating law look good, taking Brussels as an example? And we wonder about the panic-stricken awakening of the Assofermet in Italy.

Heating law: Is Germany cheating on CO2 savings?

It is no secret that the European Union is one of the biggest CO2 polluters in the world. Much of this is due, among other things, to Germany, the largest member state. Germany still emits 8.1 tonnes of CO2 per inhabitant and year and thus stands out from the EU average of approx. 6.3 tonnes of CO2.  

Germany needs to improve on this. Among other things, with the much-criticised German Heating Act, which has caused more confusion than it is likely to bring results. Now there is also the fact that the German government seems to have overestimated the CO2 savings potential.  

CO2 savings clearly overestimated? 

According to various association calculations, the CO2 savings of 39.2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030 have been set far too optimistically. This is because neither the heating planning in Germany has been completed, nor are there sufficient alternative energies to operate all the heat pumps and H2-ready gas heating systems. In the case of green hydrogen alone, significant quantities are not to be expected in the gas pipelines until 2030 at the earliest. Should consumers resist the heating law, the CO2 savings could even be 70% lower than now announced. 

There’s a method behind the extrapolation 

But what can you expect from the German government when Brussels is already practising this kind of fine arithmetic? This is evident not only with hydrogen, but also with the Carbon Border Tax CBAM and the latest anti-circumvention proceedings of the European Commission.  

Assofermet: Panic reaction from Italy? 

The Italian steel association Assofermet has caused uncertainty among its members with a statement on the recent announcements of the European Commission regarding the anti-circumvention proceedings against flat-rolled stainless steel products and the sanctions against steel imports from Russia that will come into force on 30 September 2023.  

We are very surprised about the already panic-stricken awakening of Assofermet and the recent reaction. When there were still possibilities to exert political influence, they preferred not to speak out on the whole issue. 

More professional response from associations desirable 

How associations should ideally react can be seen in the fact that they respond to the problems and concerns of their members and present solutions or proposals for solutions. It should be self-evident that an association has to go out on a limb from time to time and that it cannot be in agreement with every favourite, in the current case certainly not with the overly protective steel producers of the EU.  

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