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No. 010/10 | Berlin, 01.02.2010

Germany met its climate protection commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in 2008

Germany met its climate protection target under the Kyoto Protocol in 2008 and remains a leader in international climate protection. In 2008 greenhouse gas emissions were 22.2 percent lower than in 1990. This corresponds to a reduction of almost 280 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

This detailed data for the year 2008 is included in the National Inventory Report 2010 compiled by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which has just been published jointly by the Federal Environment Ministry and UBA. According to the Kyoto Protocol, Germany has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 by 21 percent below 1990 levels. Emissions in 2008 changed only marginally compared to 2007. A slight increase of 0.5 million tonnes was mainly attributable to the agricultural sector.

Federal Environment Minister Röttgen commented: "It is a good signal that we have again complied with our Kyoto commitment. However, we should not be complacent, since we are still far from reaching our medium-term climate protection targets. We want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990. We are just over halfway towards achieving our goals for the next ten years. Still, I am convinced that our current mitigation strategy - increasing energy efficiency and expanding renewable energies - will lead us to success."

The greatest success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions was achieved in the energy sector. Here the expansion of renewables has had a positive impact. The amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere from energy production was just under 20 million tonnes lower in 2008 than in the previous year. Compared with 1990, the reduction even amounted to 66 million tonnes of CO2. The increase of emissions of private households, as shown in the Inventory, is a statistical effect and can be put down to a decline in fuel oil sales due to the VAT rise in 2007 (pull-forward effect into 2006). Emissions in the other sectors were very close to 2007 levels.

The economic crisis, which began in 2008, only had a very limited impact on emissions, but its influence will be much more pronounced in the 2009 statistics. Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency, said: "In overcoming the economic crisis we have to continue to promote long-term climate protection. The data shows that Germany is pursuing the right path which must be systematically developed further. The further decline in greenhouse gas emissions expected in 2009 over 2008 will mainly be related to the economic situation. This is no reason to scale down climate protection. On the contrary: We need additional measures to reach our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020." According to Jochen Flasbarth, emissions trends, especially in agriculture and transport, are still not on the right course. "But to ensure long-term success in climate protection, all sectors must contribute their share."

Further Information
  • 2010 report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (PDF file, 5,53 MB, in German only)
  • The report will also be published shortly in the Climate Change series.
  • Illustration of the greenhouse gas emissions trend

    Download www.umweltbundesamt.de (PDF file, 16 KByte, in German only)

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