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Hamburg Reinforces Its Climate Protection Targets By New Programme

Hamburg Senate sets ambitious goals. By 2030, the city aims to halve CO2 emissions compared to 1990's levels. Two million tons of CO2 to be avoided by 2020

While the negotiations at the UN Climate Summit in Paris reach their hot phase, Hamburg sends out green signals by reinforcing its efforts in climate protection, with the Hamburg Senate determining its climate scheme on Tuesday, 8 December. The new goal set forward in the scheme: to halve CO2 emissions from 1990’s level by 2030. A reduction of two million tonnes of CO2 are envisaged for 2020. For the first time, Hamburg’s new scheme incorporates a strategy that combines climate protection with the adaptation to climate change.

Supported by mayors of European Green Capitals, Hamburg’s Senator for Environment and Energy Jens Kerstan thus promoted in Paris an ambitious climate agreement, which enables the achievement of the two-degree target.

Large Cities Play A Key Role

“Today, more than half of the world’s population is now living in cities, which emit the majority of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Therefore, the cities have a particular responsibility for climate protection. Cities will play a key role – regardless of the agreement achieved in Paris”, said Jens Kerstan, “We in Hamburg want to contribute to achieving the two-degree target. The Hamburg Climate Plan is our roadmap for climate protection.” By 2050, Hamburg will thus reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80 per cent compared to 1990. Kerstan: “By 2020, we will save around 2 million tonnes of CO2 compared to 2012. This corresponds to the average annual CO2 emissions of almost 50,000 four-person households in Hamburg. “

Additional Steps of the Climate Protection Plan

Also listed in the climate protection scheme are the following measures to avoid or reduce CO2 emissions in Hamburg:

• carbon-neutral operation of Hamburg’s administration by 203
• municipal fleet to include 50 per cent of e-vehicles (doubling today’s size)
• energetic renewal of public buildings along a modernisation concept set up by 2017, with additional 24.4 million euro allocated for schools and universities.
• promotion of cycling to achieve a 25 per cent share
• new underground and rapid rail lines; operation of low-emission buses
• environmental education at schools to win the young generation for active climate protection

NEW 4.0 As Catalyst of Innovation

An important part of Hamburg’s climate protection concept is also th “Northern German Energy Transition 4.0” (NEW4.0) project, striving to achieve a 70 per cent energy supply by renewables by 2025. To achieve this target, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein forged an alliance of business, science and politics. Last week, the federal government decided to fund the Northern German pilot project. Kerstan: “This is good news for the energy transition in the north and for climate protection. It may stimulate innovation in industries and push green technologies ahead, particularly in the wind energy capital of Hamburg.”

DWD Survey Forecasts Heat And Heavy Rain

The effects of climate chance on Hamburg have been predicted by the German weather service DWD. Hamburg will have to expect more heavy rain and twice as many hot days as in the past due to a temperature increase of 1.2 degrees by 2050. The prepare for the unavoidable climate change early and specifically, the new climate plan combines climate protection with measures of adjustment. Jens Kerstan: “Climate change has already arrived in Hamburg. We must be active in the coming years in order to limit the consequences, particularly, as Hamburg is a growing city and densifying inner-city construction. Therefore, we anchored the adaptation to climate change as second pillar of the climate plan. This approach is new.” Measures include enhanced protection against floods and t storm surges, the planting of climate resistant trees and plants, and intensified research on climate change adaptation.

The climate protection strategy now determined by the Senate of Hamburg Climate Plan follows in the footsteps of 2013’s climate master plan. The Senate’s plan will now be forwarded to the Hamburg parliament for discussion.

source and further details:
Hamburg Ministry for the Environment and Energy


In 2013, Hamburg’s CO2 emissions totalled 17.7 million tonnes, with per capita emissions of 10.2 tonnes per year. Each day, every citizen causes 30 kg of CO2 emissions. This corresponds to a volume of 6,000 balloons. The GHG of the economy averages around 178 kg per 1,000 euro of the gross domestic product (GDP). Compared to 2003, it thus decreased by 28.4 per cent. The Moorburg power plant is only indirectly added to the data calculated for Hamburg, because like all power plants, also Moorburg’s emissions are attributed to the German electricity mix.
(Information: Hamburg Ministry for the Environmnet)

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