Germany recorded total emissions of 901.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents for 2015, which is 2.3 million tonnes (0.3%) less than in 2014 and 27.9% less than in 1990. This data is based on calculations which the German Environment Agency (UBA) has reported to the European Commission. The greatest reductions were achieved in the energy industries (11.8 million tonnes). read more
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.
The goals of the Climate Action Plan can only be achieved through an energy transformation in the transport sector. Electromobility is the most economical of all greenhouse gas-neutral solutions. read more
The international community resolved to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The mitigation activities proposed by the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will not be enough to achieve that goal. An UBA report shows how the gap can be narrowed even before 2020, for example with more efficient electrical appliances and through renewable energy support. read more
2016 has made it especially clear what is going to happen when anthropogenic climate change and the resulting warming of the Earth meet the natural climate phenomenon El Niño. Global temperatures have jumped to new highs: it has been the hottest summer worldwide and may well be the hottest on record since 1880. The numerous droughts and flooding incidents have shown the extreme side of weather. read more
People with higher incomes usually consume more energy and resources – regardless of whether they perceive themselves to be environmentally aware or not. These are the findings of a new study by UBA. read more
In 2013 the disturbed soil of peatlands and forests caused emissions with climate impact of about 45 million tonnes CO2 in Germany alone. The drainage of peatland exposes plant material to the air which was previously preserved in airtight conditions and then releases carbon and nitrous oxide. An UBA study develops incentives how to reduce peatland emissions worldwide. read more
UBA cancels credits for greenhouse gas emissions read more
Settlement contraction is a possible measure to adapt to climate change and address the issue of flooding which will become more frequent in future. In shrinking rural areas it could help eliminate the consequences of demographic change. But is law already developed to the point that such measures could be enforced? read more