Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are the cause of anthropogenic climate change. These gases are emitted into the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and oil and lead to global warming. The consequences: melting glaciers in the Alps, rising sea levels, more frequent heat waves, and devastation caused by storms and floods. The goal of German climate policy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore, it aims to achieve, to the greatest possible extent, a greenhouse gas neutral society by 2050 in which we can live good lives both in Germany and worldwide. In the context of international climate action, Germany advocates the ambitious and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The climate is changing globally. As it changes, so do people’s living conditions. Germany is no exception. Experts expect far-reaching consequences for the environment, economy and society if we do not at least succeed in keeping global climate change under control. Even if we manage to reach the ambitious EU target of limiting the rise in global average temperature to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, we will have to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Modern climate policy is therefore based on two pillars: prevention of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change that are already unavoidable.
Demand for energy is increasing worldwide. The situation on the energy markets is escalating and energy prices are soaring. Fossil fuel burning is on the increase and is speeding up climate change. Improving energy efficiency, on the other hand, has a dampening effect on energy prices, reduces energy import dependency, cuts emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2), increases security of supply and counteracts energy distribution conflicts.