Climate protection in the economy

Climate protection in the economy

The German federal government’s 2050 Climate Action Plan sets out specific emission reduction targets by 2030. The focus is on the industry, building, transport and agriculture sectors

Salt in the water: rising salt levels in coastal groundwater pose a threat to the water supply for millions of people.

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Specific climate objectives for individual sectors

The German federal government’s 2050 Climate Action Plan sets out specific emission reduction targets for the economy for the first time. These targets are to be met by 2030, and they focus on the following sectors:

Energy – more renewables, less fossil fuels

The energy sector has a key role to play in the achievement of Germany’s national reduction objectives. By 2030 this sector is to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 61–62% compared with 1990 levels:

  • By expanding the use of renewable energy
  • By gradually reducing the use of fossil fuels as part of the energy transformation

Germany is also working to replace the energy currently generated by its nuclear power plants, which are set to be disconnected from the grid by 2022.

Industry – increased energy efficiency

By 2030, German industry is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 49–51% compared with 1990 levels. Just under 70% of the energy consumed by industry is currently generated from fuels such as coal, oil and gas. For this reason, the focus is on boosting energy efficiency. The German government has set out a research programme with industry. The aim is to explore the possible industrial reuse of carbon. Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

Buildings – from energy consumers to energy generators

By 2050, the German federal government wants all buildings to be virtually climate-neutral. This sector is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 66–67% compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. The main aspects of its action plan are:

  • High standards for new buildings
  • Long-term modernisation strategies for existing buildings
  • Gradual reduction in the use of heating systems powered by fossil fuels

In addition, the sector must look into incentives to encourage the construction of buildings that generate more energy than they require (surplus energy buildings).

Transport – a complete turnaround

CO2 emissions generated by the German transport sector have increased in recent years. This sector must achieve a complete turnaround to generate a 40–42% reduction in emissions by 2030. The concept includes measures involving the following areas:

  • Road transport (focusing in particular on reducing fuel consumption)
  • Electromobility and alternative drive technologies
  • Public transport
  • Rail transport
  • Digitalisation

Agriculture – leveraging fertilisers and farming subsidies

The agricultural sector has to reduce its emissions by 31–34% by 2030 to help reach the overall climate objectives. As part of this process, the sector must significantly reduce nitrous oxide emissions generated by fertiliser processes. The German federal government has also proposed that the EU farming subsidies should be more closely linked to the EU’s political regulations on climate.


Greenhouse gas emissions targets for each sector by 2030: