Climate Protection in Berlin

Climate research and the political sphere are in broad agreement that the increase in global temperatures caused by the emissions of greenhouse gases has to be limited to a maximum of two degrees by 2050. Otherwise the consequences triggered off by climate change will be barely controllable.

Thus, drastic measures are needed worldwide to reduce the harmful emissions released into the air primarily during the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or gas. And this is required especially of densely populated urban areas and metropolises as these consume particularly high quantities of energy.


Berlin is fulfilling its responsibility here: With its ambitious climate protection agreements and numerous initiatives across the city state, the Federal State of Berlin is striving to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990. In 2050, Berlin will even be a carbon-neutral city.

Climate protection plays a central role in the Federal State of Berlin's strategy for the future supply of energy, one which is in line with the principle of security of supply, as well as being socially acceptable and environmentally compatible. For this reason its energy policy decisions are closely connected to fields of activity relevant for the climate.

The central steering and management of all the Federal State of Berlin's climate protection activities  is under the responsibility of Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment. It brings together the various climate protection objectives the Berlin Senate is aiming to achieve in its fields of activity and coordinates the projects and players across the city state in its own working groups.

Berlin's commitment to climate protection can be seen in its numerous public and private climate protection projects. These include support programmes, climate protection agreements, energy saving partnerships, energy efficient renovation of buildings, the use of solar energy systems and mini-combined heat and power units, as well as a range of information and competitions. Through its efforts here, not only is Berlin assuming its responsibility for climate protection on a local level, with its implementation strategies and the position it has taken, it is also striving to be a role model for other municipalities and states, both within Germany and abroad.

Berlin has been so successful with its initiatives and climate protection projects to date, that by 2005 it had already achieved its 2010 aim of reducing its CO2 emissions by at least 25 percent compared to 1990.

Further information 

Climate protection in Berlin (pdf; 4.8 MB)

Policy Initiatives

Berlin's climate protection policy aims to build upon and support the opportunities for active climate protection. In addition, the intention is to establish optimal conditions so as to boost the economic potentials for the efficient application of energy, increase the usage of renewable energies and promote research and development in these areas. The activities by the city state are directed at a wide spectrum of public and private institutions, companies and organisations, as well as its residents.


Support Measures from consultation to realisation

Climate protection is not only a global mission but a national one as well. For which reason the European Union, the German Federal Government and the Federal State of Berlin have intensified their investments in the field of environmental and climate protection.

Investments in this area concern for instance the energy efficient renovation of buildings, measures to save energy and increase energy efficiency, as well as the increased use of renewable energies. When such measures are successfully implemented, the operating costs for buildings and plants or in the area of mobility for instance can be reduced – something which is highly attractive in view of increasing energy prices. Furthermore, the environment and the climate also benefit, in addition to private households and the public sector.


Climate Protection in Numbers

In order to counter climate change, the quantity of CO2 emissions harmful to the environment must be reduced. Numbers clearly indicate where the climate protection measures have an impact and which contribution they make in the relevant areas and activities.


Laws and Regulations in the Federal State of Berlin

The statutory framework for climate protection results from the interaction between international agreements and regulations adopted on European and national levels, as well as in Berlin. The Federal State of Berlin has anchored far-reaching climate policy targets in various regulations and ordinances.

The central aims are to save energy, increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energies. The intention is to use appropriate regulations and ordinances so as to make the climate protection targets achievable, controllable and capable of evaluation.


Federal German Laws and Regulations

The initiatives and activities in Berlin to protect the climate and the environment are complemented by the Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Programme (IEKP) of the German Federal Government. The IEKP names concrete measures and implementation stages, as well as the CO2 reduction targets linked to this, and thus it sets the basis for a successful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on local and national scales.

Berlin's climate policy takes into account the national framework directives and laws. In addition to the CO2 savings targets, the scientific knowledge with regard to the sustainable development of the climate is also considered in the climate policy's direction. In order to halt climate change, the requirements for more climate protection have to be taken into consideration in all areas of society. In Berlin, the building and mobility sectors, as well as the efficient supply of heat and electricity are particularly important in achieving the climate policy targets. Berlin's climate protection policy is designed as an interdepartmental administrative tool that is applicable to all fields of activity in the Federal State of Berlin.


EU Directives and International Agreements

The Federal State of Berlin regards itself as being especially obliged, both nationally and internationally, to act as a pioneer in terms of having a successful local climate protection policy. For this reason the Federal State of Berlin participates in international cooperations intended to develop and disseminate sustainable strategies and instruments for local climate protection and in the formulating of ambitious reduction requirements for the years after 2012.


Berlin in International Networks

Berlin participates in international cooperations and municipal alliances which have been formed since the 1990s to exchange views and information and develop common strategies on climate protection and sustainability.

Numerous projects in Berlin on utilising renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency receive funding from European economic and technology support programmes, such as from the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) for instance. The international associations of cities and communities serve as forums for exchanging views and information on local climate protection and sustainability strategies, in addition to fulfilling further important tasks.