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German climate protection policy

Germany sets the pace in climate protection

CO2 emissions could be reduced by more than 2.7% again last year: With a total emission of 981.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, Germany fell below the billion level for the first time. Even the industry-critical organisation "German Watch” admitted that our country is a leader in climate protection. It ranked Germany second, shortly behind Sweden.

Germany commits itself to reduce the CO2 emission by 21 percent until 2008/2012. This target has nearly been achieved already today. The greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 20.40 percent by the end of 2007. Therefore, we have only another 0.6 percent to go. This is an impressive result when considering the deviations from the target values of other EU member states.

The Federal Government still commits itself to reduce the emissions by 40 percent below the level of 1990 until 2020. Prior to the start of the 13th contract states conference of the Framework Convention on Climate Change on Bali (Kyoto follow-up process), the Federal Government has initiated the "Meseberg programme”, a national integrated energy and climate package with 14 different measures. This package has been substantiated and mainly led to draft laws and regulations. 

The doubling of the power share from combined heat and power to 25 percent until 2020 is a noteworthy target of the cabinet decisions, as well as the increase of the share of renewable energies in the total power generation from a current level of around 13 percent to 25 to 30 percent by 2020. In addition, plans are made to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the heat supply to 14 percent by 2020.

Conversion of the vehicle tax to a pollutant and CO2 basis

The Federal Government also adopted the key points of the vehicle tax conversion to a pollutant and CO2 basis, which is a long-term request of the automotive industry. Such promotion is reasonable, as, according to surveys, every third customer in the continued weak domestic market is willing to accept higher vehicle prices for a higher sustainability of his car.

Sustainable cars must remain affordable. Therefore, promoting more sustainable cars makes more sense than further sanctions.

With the "Meseberg programme", the Federal Government sets the worldwide pace for climate protection. However, the government should consider that a further burden on Germany as an industrial location can impair its competitiveness. As Germany operates the most efficient industrial plants, a further impairment of this industrial location with a subsequent shift of the industry would lead to higher CO2 emissions on a global level.

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First publication: 07.05.2008 Last modified: 09.09.2010