Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy and Javier de Cendra de Larragán
Chapter 9: German climate and energy legislation: an ambitious but fragmented framework
German climate politics tend to be highly ambitious. According to the Climate Change Performance Index 2011, published by the NGOs Germanwatch and Climate Action Network, in the overall results Germany ranks high on its list of states – behind Brazil, Sweden and Norway, followed by the United Kingdom, France and India. German climate change strategies and laws are embedded in a greater international and European system, with several complex inter-dependencies and obligations, but there is still wide national scope for climate mitigation and adaptation measures. This contribution will describe some of the foundations of German climate change law. It will also look into certain specific issues, in an attempt to give the reader an impression of what constitutes the German approach to combining on the one hand economic success and on the other, its high performance in relation to greenhouse gases (GHG). It is impossible to cover the complete spectrum of German climate change legislation in depth which means that this chapter can only highlight some major themes and developments. Firstly, some basic information will be given on political goals and strategies of climate change mitigation (section 2), followed by an overview on the legal situation in Germany (section 3). The chapter then focuses on instruments for tackling global climate change such as renewable energies, energy efficiency and emission trading (section 4).
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