July 3, 2024
Less than
min read

Germany Halts Climate Projects in China Over Alleged Fraud

German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has announced a halt to climate projects in China, citing alleged fraud by German oil companies in inflating their climate protection contributions through non-existent projects.
Germany Halts Climate Projects in China Over Alleged Fraud
Anna Jimenez Calaf - Unsplash

The German government has suspended its climate projects in China following allegations of fraud by German oil companies. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke revealed that these companies may have falsely claimed climate protection credits for projects that did not actually exist, potentially amounting to serious environmental crime.

The halt came into effect on July 1st, preventing new applications for projects under this system. The Federal Environment Agency is currently investigating 40 out of 69 projects in China, and a complaint has been filed with the Berlin public prosecutor's office. Additionally, two projects have been reversed due to regulation violations.

This scandal has sparked criticism from the opposition, who accuse Lemke of a "control failure" and demand accountability for the lack of oversight. The minister, however, places the blame on the previous government for introducing the fraud-prone system.

The questionable projects were "upstream emission reduction projects" that oil companies used to meet climate protection goals in the transport sector. The Federal Environment Agency is conducting a comprehensive review of all projects in China and other countries.

Lemke admitted that the monitoring of these activities was not flawless but emphasised that the government is taking the allegations seriously and conducting thorough investigations. She also stated that projects approved before July 1st can only generate credits for a maximum of one year, with a definitive end on September 1st, 2025.

This scandal has raised concerns about the integrity of climate protection efforts and the need for stricter oversight to ensure that companies are genuinely contributing to environmental goals.

Close Icon