Germany’s economy minister says the country Overcome its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% last year compared to 1990 levels

BERLIN — Germany’s economy minister says the nation beat its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% annually compared to 1990 levels.

Peter Altmaier said figures show Germany’s emissions of planet-heating gases were 42 percent lower in 2020 than three years before, confounding warnings that the country could not satisfy its objective.

Even though the coronavirus pandemic helped reduce emissions, Altmaier said the goal would probably have been achieved anyway even with no drop in economic activity due to the lockdown.

Separately, the German government agreed Wednesday to raise the share of renewable fuels in the transportation industry to 28% over the next decade — double the target set by the European Union as a whole. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany’s transport industry have hardly diminished since 1990 as more and cars automobiles hit the road, outweighing the impact of more efficient engines.

The government’s strategy, which has to be accepted by parliament, includes incentives for the use of electric cars, hydrogen and biofuels generated from renewable resources.

Airlines will be required to use at least 2% synthetic kerosene from 2030.