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Climate protection policy in Germany and Europe

Back in 2009, Germany and the EU set an ambitious long-term goal: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%-95% by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels). Sub-objectives were defined for 2020 and 2030, based on a triad of targets: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources and reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

Golden gatherers: one third of the world’s food production is directly or indirectly dependent on the work of bees.

Sector objectives in the 2050 Climate Action Plan

To achieve complete greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050, the key sectors of energy, industry, construction, transport, agriculture, land utilisation and forestry have been set initial emission reduction objectives to be achieved by 2030. Major changes in the energy sector – which must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 61 to 62% compared with 1990 levels by 2030 – will play a central role. The Climate Action Plan also includes specific reduction targets for industry (-49–51%), construction (-66–67%), transport (-40–42%) and agriculture (-31–34%).

Video: Great climate? Prof. Peter Höppe, chairman of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, on the ambitious climate protection objectives of Germany and Europe – and what needs to happen to achieve these goals as well.

Ambitious objectives

Back in 2009, Germany and the EU set an ambitious long-term goal: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels). Sub-objectives were defined for 2020 and 2030, based on a triad of targets:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increase proportion of energy generated from renewable sources
  • Reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency

Key EU climate protection instruments

Two instruments should largely enable the climate protection objectives to be achieved:

  • The EU emissions trading system (EU-ETS) applies to major polluters in the energy and industrial sectors. By 2030, they must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 43% compared with 2005 levels.
  • All other sectors must reduce their 2030 emissions by 30% compared with 2005 levels. This requirement applies especially to the building, transport, agriculture and waste processing sectors and to smaller industrial premises.

The German federal government’s 2050 Climate Action Plan

In November 2016, the German federal government approved the 2050 Climate Action Plan. This makes Germany one of the first nations in the world to deliver a long-term climate protection strategy and present this strategy to the UN, as required by the Paris Agreement. In line with the objectives set out in the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany is aiming to achieve almost complete greenhouse gas neutrality by the year 2050. Germany has set itself the sub-goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

The overall objective for Germany and the EU:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% by 2050

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reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

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In energy efficiency compared with business as usual.

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Generated from renewable sources

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