Division V


Division V of the German Environment Agency is responsible for climate protection, energy and emissions trading. The German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) is based here. In Germany, it is the body responsible for trading in certificates for the emission of climate-damaging carbon dioxide.

Table of Contents


Climate Protection and Energy (Department V 1)

Climate protection is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind. The Paris Agreement of 2015 commits the international community to limiting global temperature rise to well under 2 degrees and to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, if possible. The conclusions of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C indicate that the increase must be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius if we are to avoid the otherwise more severe impacts of climate change. It will take no less than an all-encompassing, global transformation towards sustainable, decarbonised and climate-resilient development to achieve this goal. 

Energy supply in developed countries such as Germany, for example, must be based more strongly on renewable sources of energy, and energy efficiency must be improved. Department V 1 is responsible among others for the further development of international climate protection agreements, long-term scenarios of future energy supply, and the aims, measures and instruments which are required for ambitious climate protection policy. Such measures include the promotion of renewable energies and ways to save energy in electrical/ electronic equipment and buildings, and the processing of energy and emissions data in Germany. Department V 1 also manages the register of guarantees of origin (Herkunftsnachweisregister) and the register of regional guarantees of origin (Regionalnachweisregister).


German Emissions Trading Authority (Departments V 2, V 3 and V 4)

Departments V 2, V 3 and V 4 comprise the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt). The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act (⁠TEHG⁠), the Fuel Emission Allowance Trading Act (BEHG) and the Project Mechanisms Act (ProMechG) designate DEHSt as the competent authority to execute virtually all measures required by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the national emissions trading system (nEHS).

The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the flagship climate policy instrument of the European Union. DEHSt acts on behalf of Germany in the context of EU ETS and supports some 1,950 installations in the energy and industrial sectors which are subject to compulsory emissions trading and some 400 aircraft operators. Further tasks include application for and allocation of emissions trading allowances under the EU ETS as well as account management in the registry and annual emissions reporting. DEHSt also operates the auctioning of emission allowances in Germany.

The national emissions trading system (nEHS), which was launched in Germany on 1 January 2021, complements the EU ETS through the inclusion of the heating and transport sectors. As with the EU ETS, DEHSt is responsible for the sale of nEHS certificates, account management in the nEHS registry and emissions reporting.

How does the national emissions trading system (nEHS) for fuels in Germany work?
Source: Umweltbundesamt

How does the national emissions trading system (nEHS) for fuels in Germany work?

All of DEHSt’s processes are fully software-based and carried out electronically. Its customer service unit also provides businesses with information on all aspects of emissions trading.

DEHSt is in charge of the approval and monitoring of climate change mitigation projects carried out under the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC. The Paris Agreement envisages new international market mechanisms which include potential trading of mitigation goals achieved through bilateral cooperation between individual states or groups of states as well as trade in project credits. There was a similar practice under the earlier Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allowed the use of emission reductions achieved in climate projects in other countries.

Furthermore, DEHSt is responsible for the approval and payment of subsidies to electricity-intensive companies to compensate for indirect CO2 costs (electricity price compensation). It is also the competent authority for the national enforcement of the EU Shipping MRV (Monitoring, Reporting, Verifying) Regulation regarding the CO2 emissions of ships larger than 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) calling at EU ports.

The German Emissions Trading Authority is also responsible for the implementation of the Upstream Emission Reduction Ordinance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated during the extraction of fossil fuels.

Printer-friendly version
 DEHSt  German Environment Agency  Division E  emissions trading  German Emissions Trading Authority