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Federal Cabinet adopts comprehensive 2023 Climate Action Programme
Today, the Federal Cabinet adopted Germany’s 2023 Climate Action Programme. This marks a major step towards implementation of the country’s climate targets for 2030: by implementing the measures listed in the programme, the Federal Government will be able to close up to 80% of the gap towards target implementation by 2030. For the first time, the Federal Government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 is within reach. On 21 June 2023, the Federal Cabinet took note of the draft for the first time. Since then, the Council of Experts on Climate Change has submitted its comments on the programme and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has held a public consultation to allow all stakeholders to share their views on the draft.
Said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck: “In adopting the 2023 Climate Action Programme, we are setting the course for the decarbonisation of all major sectors of our economy. This represents major progress. It fits in well with the momentum generated within the business community and in many companies for actively shaping this renewal. This is important. But it is also clear that a lot remains to be done and implementation is what really counts. This a task for the entire government.
By publishing the Climate Action Programme, the Federal Government is making a decisive contribution towards jointly addressing the impact of the climate crisis and towards implementation of the Paris Agreement.
In the just under two years it has been in office, the Federal Government has already adopted a considerable portion of the necessary measures, with a large number of these now being implemented. The Immediate Energy Action Package consisting of the revised Renewable Energy Sources Act, the Onshore Wind Energy Act, the Offshore Wind Energy Act, the revised Energy Industry Act and the Federal Nature Conservation Act has sped up the expansion of renewables capacity quite considerably. In addition to this, the Federal Government has paved the way for a revised Buildings Energy Act and a reform of the federal funding for energy-efficient buildings (BEG), thus speeding up the transition in the heat sector, away from fossil fuels.
Over the coming years, the expansion of a hydrogen network is on the agenda along with a comprehensive expansion of the transmission and distribution networks for electricity. The carbon contracts for difference and the Carbon Management Strategy currently being drawn up are the Federal Government’s way to bring the industrial sector on track towards climate neutrality. The ‘Deutschland-Ticket’ rail and bus pass valid on local and regional transport throughout Germany is making public transport more attractive. The action programme for natural climate action serves to both protect natural carbon sinks and biodiversity.
Through these measures together with many others, the climate gap up to 2030 will be narrowed considerably. In other words, the Climate Action Programme represents a large step towards greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. At the beginning of this legislative period, the gap between climate action taken and target achievement stood at 1,100 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents up to 2030. The measures of the Climate Action Programme can reduce this gap by up to 80%, leaving a gap of approx. 200 million tonnes up to 2030.
The Council of Experts on Climate Change has confirmed that this programme will have a significant mitigation effect, but has also verified the findings by the Federal Government, according to which the package of measures will not be enough to fully close the existing climate gap by 2030. This means that further efforts on climate action will be required in the years to come. In this context, the Federal Government will seek to take on board the many constructive proposals for measures that were made as part of the public consultation