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Germany joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in 2012, bolstering the country’s firm commitment to combatting climate change and air pollution, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing the vital role of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), Germany includes them in their broader climate change and clean air agenda and champions SLCP mitigation around the world.
“Germany fully supports this strategy as it is an important milestone on our way to take integrated action on climate change and air pollution,” said Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency, when Germany endorsed the CCAC’s 2030 strategy in December of 2020. “By reducing short lived climate pollutants, we will make a significant contribution to fighting global warming. At the same time we can address the negative impacts of air pollution and therefore make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
In 2019, Germany included SLCPs in its Climate Action Programme 2030 and Climate Change Act commitments to reducing greenhouse gases by at least 55 percent by 2030. This will be carried out in part through a national carbon pricing mechanism and by fully phasing out coal for electricity generation by 2038 at the latest.
The German government has invested in 32,450 climate projects through the National Climate Initiative (NKI).This includes, among other things, some 200 million euros in funding for over 3,000 refrigeration and air-conditioning systems in businesses and private homes between 2008 and 2019.
Since 2014, increases in energy efficiency have been supported by the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), a package of measures to improve nationwide energy performance. In 2019, this commitment was renewed with a National Energy Efficiency Strategy for 2050, including milestones for 2030, additional measures in NAPE 2.0, and broad stakeholder-dialogue about solutions for the 2050 goal. Germany supports the deep decarbonisation of energy intensive industries with a dedicated funding scheme that addresses process emissions in industries like steel, chemical, or cement.
On air quality, Germany established the Immediate Action Programme for Clean Air which ran from 2017 to 2020. The government is providing around two billion euros to towns and cities to combat air pollution by electrifying transportation and retrofitting diesel buses. Germany also passed the national air pollution control programme in May 2019 which introduces mandatory reductions in national emissions by 2030, including measures to reduce fine particulate matter and the SLCP black carbon. Germany has also implemented 58 low-emission zones in over 70 cities, significantly reducing the number of older, polluting vehicles on roads.
Faced with the global challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany has deployed a 130 billion euro economic stimulus package, not only to stablise the economy but to also take action on climate change and sustainability.
In 2019, Germany financed 46 new SLCP reduction projects worldwide with a total volume of about 392.22 million euros. The projects are aimed at energy production, transportation, agriculture, forestry, sustainable waste management, and urbanisation, among others.
Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) has also been supporting SLCP mitigation projects in developing and emerging countries since 2008, dedicating around 134 million euros in areas such as energy efficiency, waste management, and cooling.
“Germany will focus its commitment and its engagement in the CCAC on the waste and efficient cooling sectors, where we can make major contributions and take a leading role in technological transfer,” added Messner. “We are looking forward to continue working with you and we will actively support the implementation of this strategy and help to bring it into life.”
Selected examples of Germany’s sectoral approaches to mitigate SLCPs are below.
Heating, Cooling, and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
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