The Council of Experts on Climate Change

The Council of Experts on Climate Change plays an important role in the implementation of the Federal Climate Change Act. The purpose of this law is to ensure the fulfilment of national climate protection targets and compliance with European targets in order to protect against the effects of global climate change.

The Council of Experts on Climate Change has a statutory mandate based on the Federal Climate Change Act, which came into force in December 2019. The Act serves to gradually reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and, in its current version, sets a reduction of at least 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.

The work of the Council of Experts on Climate Change in the implementation of the Federal Climate Change Act includes the following tasks:

  1. The Expert Panel on Climate Issues shall review the annual greenhouse gas emissions data produced by the Federal Environment Agency, which shall be submitted annually in March for the previous year. These data are broken down into seven sectors:

    Energy

    Emissions in the energy sector were 247.3 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 32 % of total emissions for the year.

    Industry

    Emissions in the industrial sector were 181.3 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 24 % of total emissions for the year.

    Buildings

    Emissions from the buildings sector were 115.5 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 15 % of total emissions for the year.

    Traffic

    Emissions from the transport sector were 148.1 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 19 % of total emissions for the year.

    Agriculture

    Emissions in the agriculture sector were 61.1 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 8 % of total emissions for the year.

    Waste

    Emissions in the Waste Management and Other sector were 8.4 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, representing 1 % of total emissions for the year.

    Land Use

    Emissions in the LULUCF sector represent a sink and were -11.5 Mt CO2 eq in 2021.

    It submits an evaluation of the published data to the Federal Government and the German Bundestag.

  2. If the permissible annual emission quantity is exceeded, the Federal Government shall deliberate on the measures to be taken in the sector concerned or in other sectors or on cross-sectoral measures and shall adopt them as soon as possible. Prior to preparing the draft resolution on the measures the Council of Experts on Climate Change shall review the greenhouse gas reduction assumptions on which the measures are based. The result of the review shall be annexed to the draft decision.
  3. The Federal Government shall seek the opinion of the Council of Climate Experts on the greenhouse gas reduction assumptions on which they are based before initiating the following measures: (1) changes in annual emission levels; (2) updating of the Climate Action Plan; (3) adoption of climate action programmes.
  4. The Bundestag or the Federal Government may commission the Council of Experts on Climate Change with special reports.

Members of the Council of Experts

The members of the Council of Experts on Climate Change are appointed by the Federal Government as of 01.09.2020 for a period of five years. The Council is bound only by the mandate established by the Federal Climate Change Act and is independent in its activities.

Scientific staff

The Council of Experts on Climate Change is supported in the fulfilment of its tasks by a Scientific Staff headed by a Secretary General.

Office

In carrying out its work, the Council of Experts on Climate Change is supported by a Secretariat, which performs the executive activities.