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Environment & Climate

Innovative Force behind Climate Cooperation

Germany plays an active role in international climate policy and advocates climate cooperation worldwide.
Impulsgeber für Klimakooperationen
© dpa

Internationally, Germany has played a pivotal role in putting climate protection on the map. The Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › was an innovative force at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit as long ago as 1992 as it was for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that a major breakthrough was made, namely with the Paris Agreement. Here 195 countries adopted the very first universal, legally binding global climate protection agreement. The goal is to halt the rise in global average temperature and ideally limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To this end, the states have resolved to reduce or maintain a low level of greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions Roughly two thirds of global warming caused by humans (anthropogenic) can be attributed to carbon dioxide emissions. The gas is produced when the fossil fuels gas, oil and coal are burned. They all contain carbon which combines with atmospheric oxygen to form carbon dioxide. In addition to carbon… Read more › . National targets set by each country are to be regularly reviewed. The Climate Change Conference held in Bonn in 2017 addressed how to achieve this.

Climate Protection Plan 2050 as a long-term strategy

As one of the first signatory states to the Paris Climate Agreement, as long ago as 2016 Germany had already agreed on a long-term strategy: the Climate Protection Plan 2050. Since then, Germany has achieved a great deal in terms of climate protection: In 2018, around 35 percent of electricity came from renewable sources such as wind and solar. With the Climate Protection Programme 2030 and its core element, the 2021 revised Climate Protection Act, the German government also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions Roughly two thirds of global warming caused by humans (anthropogenic) can be attributed to carbon dioxide emissions. The gas is produced when the fossil fuels gas, oil and coal are burned. They all contain carbon which combines with atmospheric oxygen to form carbon dioxide. In addition to carbon… Read more › by 65 percent by the year 2030.

The European Union European Union In 1957, the Federal Republic was one of the six founder members of the current European Union (EU). Since 2013, the EU has consisted of 28 member states and the euro is the official tender in 19 of them. Germany contributes about 20% to the EU budget. Günther Oettinger (CDU), the former Prime… Read more › (EU) spearheads international efforts for a global climate protection agreement. It strives to reduce emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. The main tool is the EU emission trading scheme, which regulates the emission of carbon dioxide by around 11,000 major industrial corporations and power plant operators. It was reformed in 2018 with a view to making it more effective.

The European Green Deal

Germany also supports the European Commission European Commission The European Commission is head­quartered in Brussels and is a politically independent supra-national body that represents and safeguards the interests of the entire EU. The EU Commission has the right to table proposals (right of initiative) for all common legal acts; as “guardian of the treaties”… Read more › with its “European Green Deal”. This paves the way for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. The plan is to pass a European climate act that makes the objective legally binding; to achieve it, CO2 emissions need to be reduced substantially in all relevant areas of the economy. The European Green Deal comprises a roadmap with measures for fostering more efficient use of resources through the transition to a cleaner and more cyclically oriented economy, for the regeneration of biodiversity and for fighting environmental pollution.

Germany is also actively advancing climate cooperation with other countries and supports, for example, partner countries in achieving their national climate protection goals (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs) in the context of the NDC partnership established in 2016. These NDCs form the core of the Paris Agreement.

Germany’s pioneering role in climate research is supported by work at universities and institutes such as the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.