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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.

Climate-ADAPT first-stop-shop for adaptation knowledge in Europe

green roof

Climate-ADAPT, an online knowledge platform provided by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission since 2012, has grown into the most important place for information when it comes to adaptation to climate change in Europe. A report of the EEA informs about the experiences and effectiveness of the platform and points to ways of further improving it. read more

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Workshop: Protecting Hazardous Facilities against Natural Hazards

Zerstörungen Raffinerie in Port Arthur (USA) am 5. September 2017 nach Hurrikan Harvey

How to prevent chemical accidents at hazardous installations due to natural hazards? In a workshop (in English) from 5th to 7th September at Potsdam (Germany) the German Environment Agency and Partners from the United Nations and the OECD will present examples of good practice in related risk management. In addition related recommendations and guidance shall be drafted. read more

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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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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment