Greenhouse gas emissions fell 8.7 percent in 2020

Svenja Schulze bei einer Pressekonferenz
Note: This text is from the archive.
Published on:
Sequence number: No. 042/21
Topic: Climate
Publisher: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Minister: Svenja Schulze
Term of office: 14.03.2018 - 08.12.2021
19th Leg. period: 14.03.2018 - 08.12.2021
Around 739 million metric tons of greenhouse gases were released in Germany in 2020 - around 70 million metric tons or 8.7 percent less than in 2019, according to UBA emissions data.

Positive trend of previous years continues / Emissions down 40.8 percent since 1990

In 2020, Germany emitted around 739 million tonnes of greenhouse gases – approximately 70 million tonnes or 8.7 percent less than in 2019. These figures come from the Federal Environment Agency's (UBA) emissions data, published for the first time in 2020 in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Climate Change Act. The reduction recorded in 2020 is the largest annual drop since 1990, the year of German reunification. This means that the clear reduction in emissions in the two previous years continued in 2020. Emissions in Germany have fallen 40.8 percent compared to 1990 levels. Progress was reported in all areas, in the energy sector in particular. However, the available data also show that almost a third of the reduction, in the transport and energy sectors in particular, can be linked to the impact of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze commented: "With its 2020 carbon footprint, Germany has made progress on its climate action targets for the third year in a row. It goes without saying that, after this very different year, the impact of the pandemic is reflected in the figures, particularly in the transport sector. However, I would also like to highlight that we have had a first glimpse of structural change and that our economy has started the transition towards climate neutrality. The effects of climate-policy are primarily visible in the energy sector, where we are making progress in phasing out coal. This is a strong motivation to make progress in the sectors where much remains to be done. In my view, the fact that Germany has achieved its climate target for 2020 against all predictions is no reason to rest on our laurels. The more ambitious EU climate target will also require greater efforts here in Germany. This is why the Federal Government should now double the pace of the expansion of wind and solar power envisaged for this decade. Further measures will have to be evaluated for the buildings sector as well, and in short order. This is ensured by the new Climate Change Act and its binding targets for each sector, which are beginning to have an impact."

16.03.2021 | Press release No. 042/21 | Climate
Joint press release of the Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA)
  • Videogalerie Fotogalerie


    The Ministry in pictures

  • Publikationen


    Order and download broschures

Policy-making in dialogue

Good environmental and consumer protection policies are achieved when they are a joint endeavour. Get in touch with us, or get involved through one of our options for dialogue.