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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.

EU ETS: Increase of Cap Reduction Factor up to 2030 necessary

The picture shows a thermometer in the sunshine.

Minimizing cumulative emissions is essential for reducing the risk of overshooting the warming limit of 1.5 degrees. This study commissioned by the German Environment Agency analyses the implications for the EU ETS and presents different scenarios for this goal. The authors conclude that the cap reduction factor should be increased to 4 percent starting from 2021 or 5.8 percent starting from 2026. read more

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Fair and Cost-effective Effort-Sharing under the Paris Agreement

The pictures shows a calender.

The Paris Agreement has strengthened objectives to limit global warming remarkably. Considering a fair or cost-effective contribution to global efforts relevant greenhouse gas emitting countries should upgrade their national 2030 commitments to comply with the respective goals. Even, simply redistributing cost-effective reductions among parties by 2050 would not meet fairness considerations. read more

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Assessment of the EU’s strategic vision “A Clean Planet for All”

The picture shows a modell of the earth in green gras.

In 2018, the European Commission published its communication “A clean planet for all”, which calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A thorough study commissioned by UBA assessing the underlying scenarios for policy making shows, that central aspects for building an adequate ambitious long-term climate strategy, such as socio-economic, fiscal and technological, had been considered. read more

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How can the EU achieve net-zero greenhousegas emissions?

The picture shows solar panels as well as wind turbines.

With the Paris Agreement the EU urgently needs to re-assess its long-term target. A new scenario, commissioned by UBA, shows that a GHG-neutral EU is feasible, based on a fully decarbonized energy supply, without carbon capture and storage. Key components of the scenario are a strong increase in energy efficiency as well as far-reaching electrification. The use of bioenergy is strongly limited. read more

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Blauer Kompass contest goes into next round

Blaues Logo des Wettbewerbs 2020

Greening the office roof, unsealing the schoolyard, farming crops which are adapted to climate change, flood management measures, etc. This is the fourth time the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is acknowledging local and regional projects which make a real contribution to coping with the effects of climate change in Germany. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment