A Climate Change Wake-Up Call From Germany

(Bloomberg) -- It’s sinking in that Germany’s 500 billion-euro ($580 billion) push to promote renewable energy isn't enough to meet its ambitious climate goals.

A look at key targets Germany wants to reach by 2020 by William Wilkes, Hayley Warren and Brian Parkin suggests shortfalls on all fronts, including reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. That’s also a setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government developed a subsidy system for wind and solar farms that sparked a global boom in renewable technology.

The upshot: to keep the lights on, Germany may have to extend the life of the most polluting fossil-fuel plants and scale back future climate pledges.

Merkel’s political bet on renewables and her still-controversial decision to phase out German nuclear plants put her on the hook, particularly after President Donald Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Rising global temperatures, including this summer’s heat and drought in Germany, are adding to the pressure.

If Europe’s biggest economy, and a pioneer in the field, can’t make it, it’s a warning sign for heavy-industry countries such as China — and the world.

A Climate Change Wake-Up Call From Germany

Global Headlines 

Bruising primary | State Senator Leah Vukmir won Wisconsin's Republican U.S. Senate primary after a campaign pitting two of the party’s top donors against each other in a divisive race that Democrats hope will bolster their chances of defending the seat in November. Vukmir is one of five women who will run for the six Senate mandates in play in Wisconsin and fellow battleground state Minnesota. In the latter, former Governor Tim Pawlenty lost a Republican primary, ending his bid to return to his state’s highest office.

Blaming the EU | Italy’s ruling populists have seized on the collapse of a bridge that killed at least 35 people in the port city of Genoa yesterday to pour blame on the European Union, saying its spending rules put lives at risk. The coalition is trying to leverage the tragedy in its push to breach the bloc’s budget guidelines as it tries to ramp up spending and cut taxes.

Fast train to peace | South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed setting up an “East Asian Railroad Community” that includes the U.S. and North Korea as he seeks to tamp down rising tensions between the two adversaries. In a speech marking Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule, Moon compared the railway bloc to the steel and coal group that helped pave the way for the EU.

Designating a successor | Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will outline his vision for contending with hostility from Israel, Hamas and the Trump administration at a two-day meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council. But more relevant to delegates may be how much longer the 83-year-old can sustain the rigors of office, after illness put him in the hospital and sparked rumors of his death.

Swedish nationalists | Partying to viking rock and feasting on roasted pigs, Sweden’s nationalists are on the rise. Thousands turned up at a festival over the weekend to hear far-right leader Jimmie Akesson lay out a vision for drastic cuts to immigration and mock the establishment. His Sweden Democrats could emerge as the biggest party in the Nordic country’s Sept. 9 election, ending almost a century of Social Democratic dominance.

What to Watch

  • Allies of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are pulling out all the stops to get the imprisoned leftist leader to run in October’s election, and an estimated 30,000 people will march in Brasilia today ahead of the deadline to register his presidential bid.

And finally... Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte keeps saying he’s tired and ready to quit. The 73-year-old told business leaders last night he’s just not ready to hand the reins to Vice President Leni Robredo — who’s from a different political party that has mocked Duterte for threatening to resign at least once a month: “Our unsolicited advice: Just do it!”

A Climate Change Wake-Up Call From Germany

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