In order to effectively mitigate anthropogenic climate change, the Federal Government adopted the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Germany by 40% by 2020 and by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
For this purpose, a number of policy instruments and measures were adopted and implemented in recent years. This research project first carried out a comprehensive ex-post evaluation of the German climate protection measures. Based on available data and results, this study quantitatively identified individual contributions of various policy areas including respective instruments and incentives designed to achieve emission reduction targets.
By comparing ex-ante emission reduction forecasts with actual ex-post reductions, this study determined whether specific measures or policy packages fulfil expectations to achieve mitigation targets or whether they significantly underperform. Moreover, for measures lacking considerably in effectiveness, possible causes were examined.
Secondly, following the identification of underperforming measures, this study developed specific recommendations for improving and complementing the portfolio of instruments targeting GHG reductions and their implementation. This work was based on stakeholder discussions.
One of the selected areas for which a lack of effectiveness was found is energy-efficient appliances and products. Central causes have been sketched in a sub-study. In particular, the absence of an EU-wide central database listing energy-relevant products has been identified as a central issue of concern. Hence, the sub-study initially deals with advantages of a product database and with the question of how the EU and especially other countries are proceeding to establish such databases. The findings obtained from the analysis are used to establish requirements for an EU-wide official product database.
In another sub-study, energetic refurbishment in buildings is analysed. In Germany, the building refurbishment rate is below the government-set target of two percent per year, even though a variety of information, advice, training, and incentive programmes exist. This sub-study highlights the causes for underperformance on which basis recommendations are formulated for embedding and using regional refurbishment networks as an integral element of an advisory chain. The section concludes with suggestions on how to design a financial support programme, which facilitates regional refurbishment networks and additional elements of advice.
Another sub-study examines the relevance of municipal energy companies as a central actor for the energy transition at a local level. It deals with the economically difficult situation that municipal energy companies have to cope with today. Caused by the conflict between climate protection and market competition, their economic basis for low-carbon generation capacities has deteriorated. This situation endangers the contribution of cogeneration to climate protection and a successful energy transition. Finally, the sub-study is rounded up by conclusions on policy needs on federal level.