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.

Coronavirus pandemic and stormy February lead to increase in share of renewable energies in electricity supply sector in Germany

Windkraftanlagen stehen im Meer

The share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption will be around 46 percent for the full year 2020 – a good four percentage points higher than the figure for the full year 2019 (42%). The increase was due to an increase in electricity generation from renewable sources of about five per cent, but also to a decrease in electricity consumption in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. read more

Climate change adaptation in Germany – specialist conference on strategies to counter heat, drought and heavy rainfall

Blaues Logo des Wettbewerbs 2020

A resilient climate change forest, urban green as a cool oasis in the middle of a hot city, climate-friendly building materials made from natural resources, and a coaching programme to assist municipalities in adapting to climate change – these are the winners of this year’s Blauer Kompass award. The projects were honoured during an online conference on climate resilience. read more

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