The amendment to the Climate Change Act 2021 tightened climate regulations and enshrined in law the goal of achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. The amendment was made in response to a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court. With the new climate targets, Germany sets the new EU climate targets at national level, contributes to the wider European ambition to become the first climate neutral continent, and aims at fostering global efforts to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The new GHG emission reduction targets set by the Act include: at least -65% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels and at least -88% by 2040, compared to 1990 levels. GHG neutrality by 2045 (2050 previously). From 2050 onwards, the country aims for a negative emission balance.
New milestones are set up:
- Increase annual reduction targets per sector from 2023 to 2030
- Enshrine annual reduction targets for the period 2031-2040 into law
- By 2024: determine annual reduction targets by sector for the period 2031-2040
- By 2032: determine annual reduction targets for the period 2041-2045
- By 2034: determine annual reduction targets by sector for the period 2041-2045 to lead to climate neutrality.
The main funding instrument making means for the fulfilment of the climate protection act available is the Energy and Climate Fund (Energie- und Klimafonds).
On 24 June 2021, the German Bundestag passed an amended Federal Climate Change Act. An immediate action programme was also adopted by the Cabinet to support the achievement of these new targets, providing an additional EUR 8 billion for climate protection measures in all sectors between 2022 and 2025. The focus is on measures in the industry, buildings, transport, and energy sectors.