This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

Law for the conservation, modernisation and expansion of cogeneration ( 2016 )

The law on cogeneration revises the 2002 Combined Heat and Power Act to encourage combined heat and power (CHP) generation plants using renewable energies, district heating, heat and cold storage, and reduce CHP from hard coal and brown coal unless necessary. It details how the financial support for existing and new installations, which was increased…read more

Prohibition and minimisation of the risks of fracking technology ( 2016 )

This law bans commercial hydraulic fracturing for the production of shale gas as well as shale oil (unconventional hydraulic fracturing). Limited test drillings (four authorised) wil be carried out to provide for experts to prepare yearly reports to the German Bundestag. In 2021, the Parliament will reassess whether the ban of unconventional hydraulic fracturing should…read more

Carbon Capture and Storage Act (KSpG) ( 2012 )

This Act ensures a permanent storage of CO2 in underground rock layers in a way that protects humanity and the environment and takes the responsibility for future generations into consideration. The law regulates the exploration, testing and demonstration of the permanent CO2 storage technology. It is the national-level implementing legislation for the EU Directive on…read more

Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG) ( 2011 )

The intent of this Act is to expand grid infrastructure to encourage renewable energy supply. It prescribes a package of measures to reduce the time required for planning and approval procedures for interstate or international very-high voltage lines pursuant to the EnLAG. The objective is to create optimum investment conditions and promote acceptance of line…read more

Energy and Climate Fund Act (EKFG) ( 2010 )

This Act creates the Energy and Climate Fund. The fund is to be used for the promotion of an environmentally-friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply, for instance with respect to energy-efficiency. Revenue will mainly come from a contractual agreement of the nuclear power plant operators with the German state that skims off part of their…read more

Power Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) ( 2009 )

The intent of this Act is to accelerate the expansion of Germany's transmission grids. It describes 23 projects given "absolute priority" for future power supply and also regulates the use of high voltage underground cables in the transmission grid.…read more

Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG) ( 2008 )

The regulatory core of the Act comprises the statutory obligation to cover a percentage of heat demand from energy from renewable sources. The percentage involved depends on the type of energy used and ranges from 15% for solar energy to 50% for biofuel. However, the obligation to meet heat demand using renewables may be replaced…read more

Biofuel Quota Act (BioKraftQuG) ( 2007 )

The legal basis for the Meseberg Integrated Energy and Climate Programme, which contained a 17% target for biofuels by 2020. Under the Act, a growing percentage of fuel for use in motor vehicles must be produced from biomass. The German Advisory Council on the Environment found the target to be far too high, and favours…read more

Energy Industry Act (EnWG) ( 2005 )

A framework policy to enhance competition, security of supply and sustainable energy production. It requires electricity labelling according to type of energy source, providing greater information on electricity sources to allow consumers to make informed decisions about suppliers.…read more

Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG) ( 2002 )

This Act aims to increase electricity generation from CHP plants, to support the launch of the fuel cell sector and funding for construction and expansion of heating and cooling systems. The law intends to contribute to an increase in electricity generation from CHP by 25% by 2020 through the modernisation of existing and construction of…read more

Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG, latest version EEG 2017) ( 2000 )

This Act (introduced in 2000, amended since) replaced the law on feeding electricity from renewable resources into the public grid of 1990. The Act has set a goal of generating 35% of electricity supply from renewable energy resources by 2020 (amended from 30% after the Fukushima disaster). Longer term targets include the share of renewable…read more

Energy Consumption Labelling Act (EnVKG) ( 1997 )

This Act provides the basis for energy labelling (i.e. of products) in Germany. It stipulates the labelling requirements for products with regard to their energy consumption, consumption of other important resources, and their carbon footprint. This may take the form of labels indicating consumption, product information, or advertising information. The 2012 amendment transposes the EU…read more

Energy Saving Act (EnEG) ( 1976 )

This Act provides the fundamental basis for much of current energy efficiency policy, most notably the Heating Cost Ordinance and the Energy Saving Ordinance. The Energy Saving Ordinance (2007) specifies the basic obligation that new buildings will have to be \Nearly Zero Energy Buildings\ (buildings owned and used by public authorities from 2019, all other…read more

This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

Climate Action Plan 2050 ( 2016 / Mitigation Framework )

Germany's Climate Action Plan 2050 outlines the process for achieving the country's climate targets for all sectors in line with the Paris Agreement, including energy, the built environment, transportation, industry and business and agriculture and forestry. The plan also outlines emissions reductions targets for individual sectors for 2030 and provides guidance for how to achieve those targets.…read more

Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020 ( 2014 / Mitigation Framework )

Published by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, and adopted by cabinet, the Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020 contains measures to be implemented by 2020 in order to reach Germany’s goal of cutting GHGs by at least 40% compared with 1990 levels. It comprises nine main components: •…read more

Energy Concept for an Environmentally Sound, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply ( 2010 )

The Federal Government’s Energy Concept for an Environmentally Sound, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply sets out a long-term energy strategy to 2050 that will provide an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply. Scientifically-tested monitoring every three years, to be published. Methodology is to be established. It includes the following targets: Reduce emissions to 40%…read more

German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) ( 2008 / Adaptation Framework )

The Strategy creates a framework for adapting to the impacts of climate change. It primarily describes the contribution of the Federation, thus acting as a guide for other actors. The Strategy lays the foundation for a medium-term, step-by-step process undertaken in co-operation with the federal states and other civil groups and aimed at assessing the…read more

Integrated Climate and Energy Programme (IEKP) ( 2007 )

This programme has as its guiding principles security of supply, economic efficiency and environmental protection. The integrated climate and energy programme aims to cut GHG emissions by 40% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. Through 29 measures, the programme addresses issues including CHP generation, the expansion of renewable energy in the power sector, carbon capture…read more

This country is a member of the EU and so EU NDC data is being displayed.

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

The European Union and its 28 Member States submitted a joint NDC: at least 40% domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990

Source: NDC

40% cut in GHG emissions by 2020; 55% by 2030; 70% by 2040; then 80-95% by 2050 - against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Energy Con... (2010 / Executive)

40% cut in GHG emissions by 2020 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Integrated... (2007 / Executive)

40% cut in GHG emissions by 2020 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Action Pro... (2014 / Executive)

Reductions in the ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 by 2030 against a 2005 baseline (collective EU target)

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

At least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

Reducing by 2050 GHG emissions by 80–95 % by 2050 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Decision N... (2013 / Legislative)

Maximum quantity of hydrofluorocarbons to be placed on the market and corresponding quotas by 2015, 2030

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fluorinate... (2014 / Legislative)

In 2020, the target is for the emissions from the ETS sectors to be 21% lower than in 2005

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Reduction of EU GHG emissions by at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Germany will reduce its total GHG emissions by 55% by 2030 compared with a 1990 baseline, and will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

General | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Climate Ac... (2016 / Executive)

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Source(s):

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

2,500 MW annual incrase in solar capacity by N/A against a 2014 baseline

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: N/A | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2000 / Legislative)

150 MW annual increase in biomass capacity, then 200 MW annual increase by 2019, 2022 against a 2017 baseline

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2022 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2000 / Legislative)

40-45% increase in proportion renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption by 2025 (from 18% in 2020), then 55-60% in 2035, then at least 80% by 2050.

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2000 / Legislative)

18% final energy from renewables by 2020, then 30% by 2030, 45% by 2040, 60% by 2050

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050 | Source(s): Energy Con... (2010 / Executive)

6,500 MW increase in sea wind capacity by 2020, then 15,000MW by 2030

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2000 / Legislative)

Increase heat and power plant electricity production by 110 TWh annually, then 120 TWh annually by 2020, 2025

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2025 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Law for th... (2016 / Legislative)

Increase electricity from heat and power plants to 110 TWh by 2020, then 120 TWh by 2025

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2025 | Base year: Business as usual scenario | Source(s): Combined H... (2002 / Legislative)

2,800 MW renewable energy added annually by 2019, then 2,900 by 2020

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2000 / Legislative)

14% final energy consumption for heat and cooling from renewables by 2020

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Renewable ... (2008 / Legislative)

10% cut in electricity consumption, then 25% by 2020, 2050 against a 2008 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2008 | Source(s): Energy Con... (2010 / Executive)

20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU by 2030

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

An indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on the current criteria by 2030 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive, including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Energy distributors or retail energy sales companies have to achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through the implementation of energy efficiency measures by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, by improving energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Obligated energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies achieve a cumulative end-use energy savings target by 31 December 2020 at least equivalent 1.5% a year from 2014 to 2020 of the annual energy sales to final customers of all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies by volume, averaged over the most recent 3-year period prior to 2013 by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The Union’s 2020 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 474 Mtoe of primary energy or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

Union’s 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The biofuels and bio-liquids should contribute to a reduction of at least 35% of GHG emissions. From 2017, their share in emissions savings should be increased to 50% by 2020

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

1 million electric vehicles in use by 2020; then 6 million by 2030

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2020, 2030 | Source(s): Energy Con... (2010 / Executive)

Biofuel GHG emissions must be >35% lower than the fossil fuel they are replacing by 2017, 2018 against a 2015 baseline

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2018 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Manufacturer's average emissions to be reduced yearly by 2014-2020 against a 2011 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Increasing aircraft fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 20 to 30 % compared to ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft entering into service as from 2014 by 2020

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reduce CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx by 80% by 2020 against a 2007 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reducing the GHG intensity of fuels used in vehicles for transportation by 10% by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

General | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 95 g CO2/km as average emissions for the new car fleet, in accordance with Article 13(5) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Emission p... (2009 / Legislative)

At least 10% share of renewables in final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 147 gCO2/km for the average emissions of new light commercial vehicles registered in the Union subject to confirmation of its feasibility, as specified in Article 13(1) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

The specific emissions of CO2 of each light commercial vehicle which is designed to be capable of running on a mixture of petrol with 85% bioethanol (‘E85’), and which complies with relevant Union legislation or European technical standards, shall be reduced by 5% by 2015

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Every year, governments in EU countries must carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% (by floor area) of the buildings they own and occupy by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Since the 1980s, Germany has taken a leading role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Traditionally, all political parties support action on climate change, and the (non-legally binding) short-term national emission reduction target of at least 40% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels was reiterated in the 2013 coalition agreement. Germany is preparing to ratify its legally binding commitments for the second Kyoto period, covering the period 2013-2020.

In December 2014 the cabinet adopted the Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020 which aims to reduce GHG emissions by 62-78 million tonnes CO2-equivalent by 2020 (as compared to current projections). It comprises nine main components, including the 2014 National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE), as well as transport-specific measures, climate-friendly building and housing, and a reform of emissions trading. A 2050 version of the programme is expected to be tabled in 2018, and will be updated every three years.

The Climate Action Programme 2020 is accompanied by a confirmation that the current government will increase subsidies for energy efficiency measures to EUR 3.4 bn per year (up from EUR 2bn per year). This strong commitment to climate mitigation is partly the responsibility of the Green Party, which formed a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party from 1998 until 2005, when most of the post-Kyoto climate legislation and a phase-out of nuclear power generation was initiated. The conservative parties (Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU)) continued this approach in the Great Coalition with the Social Democrats (2005-2009). The coalition government of CDU/CSU and the Free Democratic Party decided to repeal the phase-out of nuclear energy (by approximately 2022) by extending the life span of nuclear power reactors in autumn 2010, coming into effect by January 2011. The country’s long term mitigation and energy aims were based on this decision; using extended nuclear power production as a “bridge” to a low-carbon future.

However, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan led to the decision to phase out all nuclear power stations by 2022. The new coalition government formed after the 2013 elections aims to maintain momentum towards achieving the voluntary emission reduction targets for 2020 and implementing the ‘Energiewende’, i.e. the focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy. However, for a variety of reasons including the nuclear phase-out, a decline in power generation from natural gas plants, low prices achieved in the European Union’s emission trading scheme (EU ETS), and to satisfy export demand for energy, lignite and hard coal production has been steeply increasing. In order to continue to meet the country’s voluntary climate targets, plans for a new law in 2015 to limit coal-fired generation have been announced. As yet details on this law are unavailable. It is also unclear as to how this law may overlap with the EU ETS and the Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020.

The key government agency responsible for climate change at a national level is the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. After a restructuring of the ministries in 2013, the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy took over primary responsibility for energy, especially renewable energy. This division of primary responsibility for climate change and renewable energy is an important structural change as the majority of mitigation activities take place in the energy sector. The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, and policies implemented at the state level also play a role. Federal policies include the Bavarian Climate Programme 2020, which includes the goal of reducing annual energy-related carbon emissions to below six tons per capita, an increase in energy productivity by 30%, an increase in renewable energy in electricity to 50% and an increase in biomass in the production of primary energy to 10%, all by 2020. 

Energy supply

Building on national climate policy programmes of 2000 and 2005, Germany launched its first national climate change and energy programme in 2007 and a second package in 2008. In 2010 the government launched its Energy Concept for an Environmentally Sound, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply. This strategy included an extension of the operation of its nuclear reactors (by an average of 12 years) and the expansion of energy from renewable sources. However, following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, the government reassessed the risks associated with nuclear power, decided to return to phasing out nuclear energy by 2022 without increasing its ambition for energy from renewable sources. In 2011 the government amended the Atomic Energy Act to put these changes into law.

A steady increase in the use of energy from renewable sources is of fundamental importance in German climate change legislation. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (2000), most recently amended in July 2014, remains the most important instrument for expanding the use of energy from renewable sources. This law (as part of amendments made in 2008) set a target to generate 35% of electricity supply from renewable energy resources by no later than 2020.

In line with the Meseberg Integrated Energy and Climate Programme, new instru­ments were introduced under the Renewable Energies Heat Act in 2008, which is designed to foster the use of renewable energy for heat supply. Given that around half of energy consumption goes to supplying heat and for refrigeration, the aim of this Act is to reduce energy consumption by improving energy efficiency, partly through the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), and switch the remaining energy consumption over to energy from renewable sources.

The Act on Demonstration and Application of Technologies for Capture, Transport and Permanent Storage of Carbon Dioxide (CCS), transposing the EU Directive on CCS, was adopted in 2012, after a long conciliation process between the upper and lower chambers. The federal regions represented in the Federal Council demanded the introduction of an annual storage limit of 4 million tonnes of CO2, as well as provisions granting discretionary powers to the regions on the authorisation of CCS demonstration sites on the basis of alternative uses for sites, their geological features and public opposition. Subsequently, the regions that are potentially relevant as sites for CCS have enacted regional-level laws that prohibit CCS on their territory.

At a federal level, the government adopted the Power Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) in 2009 as well as the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG) in 2011 to facilitate a quicker expansion of the grid to enable the connection of more renewable energy capacity. This is particularly relevant for electricity transmission grids transporting wind power from the North to the consumption centres of the West and South. However, actual implementation of the grid expansion detailed in these acts has been slower than anticipated. The revised Energy Industry Act (EnWEG) is also intended to create a stronger foundation for smart grids and storage facilities, with another revision (referred to as the Market Design Act) intended to occur in 2016. The federal level government also enacted a Federal Requirement Plan Act (BBPIG) to help ensure the required grid (overlay) capacities are created quickly.

The government has introduced a package of rules that simplifies the procedure for feeding biogas into the gas grid. The package includes a revised Gas Grid Access Ordinance 2008 and the Gas Grid Fee Ordinance 2008. The Meseberg Integrated Energy and Climate Programme contained a 17% target for biofuels (% based on energy content) by 2020. The legal basis is provided by the Biofuel Quotas Act of 2009. Germany also transposed the European Renewables Directive requirements on sustainable biomass production into national law by means of the Federal Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance in 2009.

Energy demand

In 2012, Germany was the eighth-largest energy consumer in the world and the country relies on imported energy to meet most of its energy demand. About 37% of its total primary energy consumption comprises petroleum and other liquids, with the remainder made up of coal (24%), natural gas, nuclear and energy from renewable sources.

In July 2014 Germany was ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (out of 16 countries studied). The country has a multi-pronged strategy for energy efficiency, such as the NAPE and the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) which operates in the building sector to tighten restrictions on primary energy use and transmission heat loss. An amendment of the Energy Saving Ordinance in 2013 provides for a harmonisation of standards by 2020 for new buildings with the future European standard for nearly zero‐energy buildings. It requires that new buildings will have to be nearly zero-energy buildings (buildings owned and used by public authorities from 2019, all other new buildings from 2021). A nearly zero-energy building is one that “has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby”.

Other energy efficiency policies include the 2010 Energy and Climate Fund, out of which an Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) was established, and funding for the National Climate Initiative (NKI) was increased. Funding for the EEF is EUR300m (USD376.5m) for 2015. The NKI is currently funded through revenues from auctioning emission allowances under the EU ETS, approximately EUR280m (USD351.4m) per year. The NKI provides funding for four major support programmes, targeting climate projects in cultural, social and other public institutions, small-scale CHP plants, industry-grade refrigeration technologies and biomass use. It also supports individual projects such as innovation support, awareness campaigns and diffusion of energy efficiency technologies.

In order to comply with stringent energy efficiency criteria (any products and services procured should have best performance with regard to energy efficiency), the government amended the Ordinance on the Award of Public Contracts in 2011. The Heat Cost Ordinance was also amended in 2009 to foster energy‐saving behaviour among tenants of rented premises. The law for energy labelling implementing the EU Directive on energy performance labels for energy-related products was adopted in 2012.

Amendments to the Combined Heat and Power Act in 2008, 2009 and 2012 increased the percentage share of high‐efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plants in electricity and heat generation (primary energy use over 90%) from 12% in 2008 and 2009 to reach a 25% share of the total conventional energy generated by 2020. District heat networks will also be expanded. The government amended the Combined Heat and Power Act in 2011 and again in 2012 to strengthen energy production in CHP plants.

REDD+ and LULUCF

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research is funding a number of measures, including the Forest and Climate Fund and the project “Inter­dependencies between Land Use and Climate Change Strategies for a Sustainable Land Use Management in Germany”. This runs from 2010 to 2015, to evaluate the mitigation and adaptation potential of various land management strategies across the major land-using sectors in order to develop sustainable land management strategies.

Transportation

For road transportation, improvements are expected in the statutory reduction targets for CO2 emissions per kilometre (regulated by EU legislation). Among other things, these include enhanced engine efficiency and incentives for improving electric mobility. Consumer‐side incentives come in the form of revised fuel consumption labelling for private vehicles (Ordinance on Fuel Consumption Labelling for Cars, last amended in 2006).

Adaptation

In 2008 Germany adopted the ‘German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change’, followed in 2011 by the ‘Adaptation Action Plan of the German Adaptation Strategy’. The action plan sets out activities at the national level and activities undertaken by the Federal Government that are jointly initiated with the 16 states. Examples include the adaptation of federally-owned public infrastructure such as railways, and a funding scheme promoting climate change adaptation at individual company and local authority level.

Lliuya v. RWE (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: 2 O 285/15
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Flood risk from climate change
Current status: open

In November 2015, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer who lives in Huaraz, Peru, filed claims for declaratory judgment and damages in a German court against RWE, Germany’s largest electricity producer. Lliuya’s suit alleged that RWE, having knowingly contributed to climate change by emitting substantial volumes of greenhouse gases (GHGs), bore some measure of responsibility…read more

Miersch/Maxeiner v. Bundesministerium für Umwelt (Halle Administrative Court, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: 1 A 304/13 HAL
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Challenge to Ministry’s public characterization of journalists as “climate change skeptics”
Current status: Decided

The Administrative Court of Halle, Germany ruled in late November 2015 on a dispute between two journalists and the German Ministry of Environment. Specifically, the court determined that laws governing privacy rights and the Ministry’s conduct did not prevent the Ministry from publishing a pamphlet in 2013 that referred to the journalists by name and…read more

Bundes fur Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. & Germanwatch e.V., v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vertreten durch Bundesminister fur Wirtschaft und Arbeit (Berlin Administrative Court, 2006) (Opened in 2006 )

Citation/reference number: [2006] VG 10 A 215.04
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Sought environmental information on German export credit activities
Current status: Decided

A German court ordered the government to release information on the climate change impacts of German export credits. The credits have provided financial support for projects that contribute to climate change. BUND and Germanwatch brought suit against the government arguing that citizens have a right to the free access of environmental information under the German…read more

Parliament is the most important organ of the legislative branch. The Federal Council is also involved in the legislative process as an organ through which the sixteen states participate in the legislation of the Federation. For federal laws to pass, they must obtain a majority in both chambers.

The Federal Government introduces most legislation, but the Federal Council and Parliament also have the right to introduce bills. After a first discussion in the Parliament the bill is passed to the Federal Council. A Mediation Committee resolves any differences over legislation between the two legislative chambers. Once the compromise bill that emerges from the Committee has been approved by a majority in both chambers and by the cabinet (comprising the Chancellor and cabinet ministers), it is signed into law by the Chancellor. The most recent election at a federal level was held in 2013 with the next scheduled in 2017.

The German Basic Law assigns no general legislative powers to the federal level in respect of environmental protection. Rather, the respective legisla­tive powers are separated for air pollution control, noise abatement, waste management, nature conservation and water supply. Environmental responsibili­ties that fall either to a limited extent under these sectoral responsibilities or are not covered by them at all, can under certain circumstances be covered by the legislative power of “law relating to economic affairs”. Legislation on climate change can in part be covered by the legislative area of “air pollution control” but must also be covered by the “law relating to economic affairs”. There is no uniform legislative area of climate change law.

Last modified 22 August, 2017