Our atmosphere is a small miracle of nature. It contains so-called greenhouse gases that form a protective layer around the earth and prevent the heat emitting from earth disappearing into space. The earth would be bitterly cold without these greenhouse gases. Instead, we have a constant temperature of around 15 degrees Celsius. Our problem today is that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has risen too much.
In the Kyoto Protocol, negotiated in 1997, the participating industrialised countries committed themselves to a 5 percent reduction in emissions of climate-damaging gases - such as carbon dioxide - by the period 2008-2012 as compared with 1990. The European Union has agreed to cut its emissions by 8 percent during the years 2008 to 2012 as compared to the level of 1990.
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.