About

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. 

CCAC Activities

Workstream | Efficient Cooling
Ongoing
A main objective of the Efficient Cooling Initiative is help deliver on the levers identified in the Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling , launched at the G7 Summit in 2019. The...
air-conditioners

Other activities

 

Heating, Cooling, and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

  • In 2009, Germany established the support programme for newly installed, energy-efficient refrigeration and air conditioning plants (with non-halogenated, or natural, refrigerants only) as well as the refurbishment of existing plants. Since 2018, only newly built plants with natural refrigerants are eligible for funding.
  • Complementary to the European F-gas Regulation, the German government enacted the Chemicals Climate Protection Ordinance, which stipulates further requirements for equipment containing F-gas, such as maximum HFC refrigerant leakage rates for refrigeration and air conditioning plants.
  • Being part of the European Union, Germany has implemented the European F-gas Regulation since 2007, which includes leak checks on F-gas containing equipment, record-keeping of added and recovered F-gas quantities, as well as training and certification of personnel and documentation. Since the revision of the F-gas Regulation in 2014, Germany is also affected by prohibitions of certain refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and the HFC phase-down. From the beginning of 2021, only 45 percent of the average HFC use from 2009 to 2012 will be available on the European market.

Waste

  • In 2019, the National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste was introduced with the goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030 to achieve the sustainable development goals while combatting climate change and environmental impacts.
  • In 2015, collecting biowaste separately became obligatory.
  • In 2013, the National Climate Initiative started promoting landfill aeration to further reduce remaining methane emissions from landfills.
  • By 2015, the German circular economy and waste management policies and measures had effectively reduced the emissions from landfill by 75 percent compared to 1990 levels. This is equivalent to a total reduction of 25 Mt CO2-eq up to 2015.
  • In 2005, landfilling untreated municipal solid waste was banned, avoiding methane formation in landfills. Instead, waste is diverted from landfills, recycling has been expanded and so has the thermal or mechanical biological treatment of the municipal solid waste.
  • Since the 1990s, Germany has been working to reduce methane and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste management. Separate collection systems for different waste streams, such as for packaging waste and biowaste, were implemented. In 1993, the capture and use of landfill gas became obligatory.

Energy Efficiency
  

  • As a prominent measure from Climate Action Programme 2030, since January 2020, more assistance and financial support has been made available for energy efficient building construction and refurbishment. Accessibility of state aid programmes is progressively improved.
  • In May 2017, Germany introduced an individual renovation road map, a new adaptable tool for retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient.
  • In 2016, the CO2 Building Rehabilitation Programme, which helps upgrade residential buildings to save energy, added a heating and ventilation package funding module with the Energy Efficiency Incentive Programme (APEE).
  • In 2016, the Heating Optimisation Programme launched to boost the number of energy-efficient pumps in German households and to encourage the optimization of existing heating systems.
  • In 2016, National Efficiency Labels were mandated, providing information about energy efficiency and water consumption of appliances.
  • In 2016, new buildings were required to get part of their heat from renewable energy.
  • In 2014, the Energy Conservation Regulation established minimum energy requirements for new buildings and for major refurbishments. 

Resources

2016 | Policies, Plans & Regulations

The Climate Action Plan 2050 affirms Germany's 2050 reduction target, and also sets out sectoral reduction targets (in CO2 equivalents) for 2030. This does also include reduction of SLCPs, but...

Germany's climate action plan 2050

Address

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Stresemannstr. 128-130
Berlin 10117
Germany
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