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Climate | Energy

Climate change brought about by the sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the industrial era is a global challenge that the community of nations is hoping can be mastered via an effective international climate protection treaty that is slated to take effect in 2020. The top priority in this regard is greenhouse gas emission reductions. The goal of German energy policy is to reduce such emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. The measures in this regard aim to increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.

If we are to have any hope of reducing greenhouse gases, we will need to substantially roll back energy use, improve energy efficiency and at the same time ramp up renewable energy production and use. To leverage this potential, we need to institute efficiency measures and optimize renewable energy technologies. But to do this, it is crucial that economic, infrastructure and political obstacles be overcome.

What is the key to the success of climate protection measures? Timely, sustainable infrastructure investments worldwide that will create conditions early on and in a timely manner that will be conducive to adherence to the two degree ceiling. Hence transformation of our economic systems and their underlying socioeconomic structures (energy systems, urbanization and land use) will need to begin at the national level, and then continue based on an across the board sustainable-development paradigm on the global level. As a society, we need to be very clear about the fact that climate protection cannot and will not be achieved through technical solutions alone, and will instead necessitate fundamental transformation of our lifestyles, "mentalités", and values.

In the interest of moving toward achieving these goals, in 2010 the German government adopted an ambitious energy infrastructure transformation program that sets a long term strategy for German energy and climate policy. We at the UBA are supporting this process through our own investigations of long term scenarios aimed at energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy, and energy-infrastructure transformation monitoring. To this end, we are implementing instruments such as carbon trading, the guarantee of origin register, and the "Blauer Engel" seal of environmental quality.

Paths to energy-efficient urban development: resources now online

City district in Utena

From 2015 to 2017, the Advisory Assistance Programme funded a project of Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO), which provided advice to the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment on development and implementation of approaches for energy-efficient redevelopment of urban areas. The documentation is now online. A brochure and a leaflet facilitate the transfer of knowledge also beyond Lithuania. read more

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New EU Innovation Fund: how can it support climate protection?

industrial plant

A research report commissioned by the UBA has analysed a range of options for designing the EU Innovation Fund (IF), a financing instrument created under the EU Emissions Trading System to support demonstration projects for low-carbon innovation in the power sector and industry. From 2019 onwards, this fund will use revenues from auctioning emissions trading allowances for this purpose. read more

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Guidance for climate-friendly investment

two engineers (a women and a man) in a windfarm

Capital investments which target the energy, transport and building sectors can help to limit the rise in Earth’s temperatures to less than 2 degrees. A new UBA study proposes the criteria by which public financial institutions like development banks should proceed and identifies which projects should no longer be funded. read more

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Shipping companies must report greenhouse gas emissions

container ship on the sea

In an initial step to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport, shipping companies must monitor and report their emissions starting 01.01.2018. The German Emissions Trading Authority at UBA (DEHSt) is the competent authority for emissions monitoring in Germany. read more

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Accelerating the Resource Revolution – World Resources Forum 2017

Menschen tauschen sich auf einer Konferenz aus.

Two years after two historic global agreements – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – the World Resources Forum Association invites leaders from government, business, research and NGOs to Geneva to talk about how to accelerate the Resource Revolution. How should we manage, coordinate, finance, track progress, and communicate about it? read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment