Aiming for decarbonisation and a two-degree limit

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is taking ambitious targets to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Paris is to succeed, where Copenhagen failed in 2009: at the United Nations climate summit in December 2015 the international community aims to agree the first global climate protection treaty that obliges not only the industrialised nations, but also the emerging and developing countries to reduce their CO2 emissions. Germany wants to make a decisive contribution to achieving that and firmly establishing the “decarbonisation” of the world economy as a long-term goal.

Germany is one of the pioneers in climate policy. The Federal Government aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. No other country has a more ambitious target. The Climate Protection Action Programme agreed in 2014 aims to ensure that this target will be achieved on schedule despite temporarily increased emissions.

“Bringing Paris to a successful conclusion”

The Federal Government is convinced that the beginnings of a reduction in global emissions can be achieved in Paris – and that this reduction will make it possible to stay within the two-degree limit on global warming to which the parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have committed themselves. “We want to bring Paris to a successful conclusion, and I am optimistic that this will be achieved,” says Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks.

The Federal Government considers it a positive sign that over 150 countries have already presented national reduction targets for greenhouse emissions in the run-up to the summit. It supports the inclusion of an “ambition mechanism” in the envisaged Paris Protocol – a rule which stipulates that every five years states must examine what additional contribution they can make to ensure the two-degree limit is actually achieved. The current national targets are more likely to put the world on course for a three-degree increase. Later improvements are therefore necessary.

Germany is also calling for an increase in financial climate support. “As industrialised countries we should meet our commitments to make available 100 billion US dollars a year for climate protection and adaptation,” says Barbara Hendricks. Germany intends to contribute to this. According to Hendricks, its international climate funding will be doubled by 2020.

United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015