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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.

How does emissions trading work?

Screenshot aus dem gezeichneten Kurzfilm: Zu sehen ist ein Kraftwerk, das Geld für Emissionsberechtigungen zahlt.

Why is there a trade in or with emissions? Who specifies the framework conditions and how does emissions trading actually work? An explanatory film gives short and concise answers to these questions and explains the contribution of emissions trading to climate protection. read more

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Electricity made regionally

Windpark, Rapsfeld und unbestellter Acker

Starting 1 January 2019 every household has the opportunity to drive the transformation of the energy system. The new guarantees of regional origin register makes it possible to issue guarantees of origin for electricity produced from renewable sources of energy. End customers will be able to verify that their electricity is produced in their region, for example by the nearby wind turbine. read more

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EU publishes long-term climate strategy

solar park, wind energy plants, sun flowers

The Paris Agreement invites parties to provide their low carbon development strategies by 2020 in order to disclose their plans to support the implementation of the Agreement. Recently the European Commission (EC) published a set of documents presenting its analysis of options for long-term climate policy in the European Union. read more

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UBA Key Prioirities for the new EU Long-term Climate Strategy

solar park, wind energy plants, sun flowers

Since the Paris Agreement invites parties to provide their low carbon development strategies by 2020, the European Union is currently preparing its respective mid-century long-term climate strategy. Within a public consultation the German Environment Agency (UBA) provided recently its submission on key priorities relevant for the new EU strategy. read more

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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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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment