New OECD Environmental Performance Review published

Germany has taken a leading role in the field of climate policy and is continuing to pursue ambitious goals at the national and international level. Further effort is still necessary, but Germany is on the right track.

The new Environmental Performance Review of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) rates Germany as very committed to environmental policy. The OECD’s independent assessments show member countries’ progress in achieving their domestic and international environmental policy commitments and provide policy‑relevant recommendations.

With the National Sustainable Development Strategy, which was adopted in 2002, and the current shift to green energy, Germany has launched important initiatives on energy and climate policies, resource efficiency and biodiversity protection. In particular, the review highlighted the reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 15.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, the increased efficiency on the part of the German economy in using natural resources and the improvements in the environmental quality of life.

Tiergarten Berlin Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt, CS) The strong environmental policies have made it possible to create incentives for an internationally competitive environmental goods and services sector. Innovations in the field of renewables – in photovoltaics, wind power and thermal insulation, for example – have led to employment in the sector tripling between 2002 and 2010 to over 370,000 employees. The OECD also sees great potential for future economic growth in Germany in this field.

The review sees room for improvement for Germany in expanding its electricity storage capacity and transmission network, in improving water quality and in increasing the cost‑effectiveness of the environmental policy mix.

Increased use of renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency continue to be at the core of Germany’s strategy for achieving climate- and energy-related goals. The full 2012 OECD Environmental Performance Review of Germany can be ordered through the OECD’s website.