15. January 2016

The Paris climate protection agreement

In December 2015, 195 countries came together at the UN-climate conference to adopt an agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Participating states committed to pursuing nationally determined climate targets and to report on their progress towards achieving them in five-year intervals, using a rigorous, standardized process of review. From 2020, developed industrial nations intend to mobilize 100 billion US Dollars per annum to support regions that are endangered by the effects of climate change through a switch to renewable resources. The global climate deal is set to be signed on April 22nd 2016 in New York.

While the outcomes of the UN-climate conference are a good step in the right direction, the new agreement does not set specific targets for reduction for individual countries. Rather, it relies on the voluntary action of participating countries.

Impact on the European and German economy

For the export-oriented European - and especially German - economy, the already strict requirements and reduction targets lead to a disadvantaged position on the international market. One-sided efforts of single states in the end harm their economy.

Impact on the US economy

The USA is proving their commitment to climate protection by supplementing the measures agreed upon at the UN-climate conference with complementary actions by sub-national governments, enterprising businesses, investors and entrepreneurs. If US politics manage to develop dependable framework conditions for climate change, the demand for climate-friendly products on the US market could rise, possibly leading to a positive effect on the US economy. Yet, even the realization of individual efforts and projects could lead to economic upswing.

For further information on the climate initiatives of the USA, please see www.whitehouse.gov .