A draft report commissioned by the German government shows that the country’s current and planned climate policies are not enough to reach the official target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, according to a report published by Der Spiegel and reported by online news agency Clean Energy Wire. The projections report, in which leading research institutions calculated scenarios for future emissions development, showed that, even in a best-case scenario, Germany would still have net emissions of 160 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year by 2045. The draft of the report must still be agreed by the government cabinet – it was originally scheduled for publication in March.

Germany is aiming for climate neutrality by 2045. Cancelling out remaining greenhouse gas emissions can be done by removing the same amount through natural sinks like forest, or technical removal, such as directly capturing CO2 out of the air and storing it underground. The government published a first preview of the projections for the years up until 2030 when it presented its new climate action package in June. The data showed that even if these measures were to be successfully implemented, Germany would still emit a total of 200 million tonnes of CO2 more than planned until the end of the decade.

The projections report is meant to provide an assessment of the impact of climate action measures on greenhouse gas emissions in the future. The last one was published in 2021. The report will gather further importance once German lawmakers decide a planned reform of the country’s climate action law, likely to happen later this year. In the future, the government will have to present a climate action policy package, if – for two years in a row – the projections show the country is off track for reaching its targets.