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Climate Change Policies in Germany: Make Ambition Pay


  • Caroline Klein



Germany reduced greenhouse gas emissions substantially but remains an important emitter. Ambitious targets for climate change mitigation have been fixed and a broad range of environmental measures are being implemented. The efficiency of these measures, as well as their coordination, should be improved though, as reaching the targets risks being costly. In particular, the early phase-out of nuclear power and the development of renewable energy sources will require high levels of investment and public financial support. Establishing a clear carbon price in all sectors of the economy and phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies would contribute to reducing the CO2 abatement cost. The generosity of feed-in tariffs also needs to be carefully monitored and adjusted tightly in line with market developments to avoid deadweight losses and excessive increases in electricity prices. In addition, in order to maintain the German leadership in green sectors and preserve future sources of growth, competition in the energy sectors should be increased and eco-innovation further developed. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 Economic Survey of Germany, Politiques en matière de changement climatique en Allemagne : tirer profit d´objectifs ambitieux L’Allemagne a sensiblement réduit ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre, mais elle reste un émetteur important. Ses objectifs d’atténuation du changement climatique sont ambitieux, et elle met actuellement en oeuvre un large éventail de mesures de protection de l’environnement. Il faudrait toutefois améliorer l’efficacité de ces mesures, ainsi que leur coordination, car atteindre les objectifs visés risque d’être coûteux. En particulier, l’abandon anticipé de l’énergie nucléaire et le développement des sources d’énergie renouvelables nécessiteront des volumes considérables d’investissement et de soutien financier public. Un prix du carbone clairement défini dans tous les secteurs de l’économie et l’élimination progressive des subventions dommageables pour l’environnement contribueraient à réduire le coût de la réduction des émissions de CO2. Le système de tarifs de rachat doit également être strictement contrôlé et adapté aux évolutions du marché, pour éviter les pertes d’efficience et des hausses excessives des prix de l’électricité. De plus, afin que l’Allemagne reste à l’avant-garde dans les secteurs verts et préserve ses futures sources de croissance, il importe d’intensifier la concurrence dans le secteur de l’énergie et de développer davantage l’éco-innovation. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE sur l’Allemagne 2012 (

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Klein, 2012. "Climate Change Policies in Germany: Make Ambition Pay," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 982, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:982-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Bakhtyar, B. & Fudholi, A. & Hassan, Kabir & Azam, M. & Lim, C.H. & Chan, N.W. & Sopian, K., 2017. "Review of CO2 price in Europe using feed-in tariff rates," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 685-691.

    More about this item


    Allemagne; changement climatique; climate change; croissance verte; Germany; green growth; innovation; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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