Achieving the Paris climate targets and reducing global carbon emissions remain central concerns for German industry and the German federal government. Despite the recession brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, they continue to be high political priorities. The German federal government is intensively engaged in national climate protection measures, and has laid down its national climate protection targets in the new German Climate Protection Act (Klimaschutzgesetz). The act provides for a reduction in carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
This national perspective is too narrow. Germany is responsible for 2.1 percent of global carbon emissions. If German carbon emissions were reduced by half, this would result in a reduction of just 0.9 percent from a global perspective.
At the same time, some 1,400 new coal-fired power plants are being planned or built worldwide. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global energy demand will increase by 25 percent by 2040, making it clear that global warming cannot be curbed by measures limited to Germany. Rather, it can and must be effectively addressed by climate- friendly energy and economic policies in emerging and developing countries as well. To this end, the German federal government and German industry can work together to contribute potentially more than what can be achieved in the national context.
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