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Policy making by participation - the German Climate Action Plan 2050

: Schlomann, Barbara; Repenning, Julia; Wohlfarth, Katharina

European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy -ECEEE-, Paris:
eceee 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency. Consumption, efficiency and limits : 29 May - 3 June 2017, Belambra Les Criques, Toulon/Hyères, France
Paris: ECEEE, 2017
ISBN: 978-91-983878-0-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-91-983878-1-0 (Online)
European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ECEEE Summer Study) <2017, Toulon>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISI ()
CO2 reduction; climate action plan; climate policy; long-term strategy; long-term policy; policy measures; participation; dialogue process

With regard to commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the climate agreement reached at the climate conference in Paris, Germany has set a national goal for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared with 1990. In order to enforce the achievement of this long-term target, Germany adopted a first Climate Action Plan 2050 in December 2016. In order to increase acceptance for this long-term energy and climate strategy in society and business, the Federal Government launched – for the first time - a broad-based participatory process. In several rounds of dialogue between June 2015 and March 2016, Federal states, municipalities, associations and citizens could actively participate in the development of the Climate Action Plan 2050. In the course of the dialogue process, the participants worked out a large number of policy measures covering five action areas: 1) Energy Sector 2) Industry and Services 3) Buildings 4) Transport 5) Agriculture and Land use. The final outcome of the dialogue process was the so-called „Measure set 3.1“, which contains a proposal of around 90 policy measures in the five action areas, which are described in detail. This measure set was the basis for the formulation of the Climate Action Plan 2050 by the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB), which was mandated by the Federal Government to develop this plan and to coordinate and consult on it with other government departments. In our paper, we first of all analyse and evaluate the importance of the dialogue process as a new approach of long-term policy making. Secondly, we analyse the actual contribution of the preceding dialogue process to the following political process which was finally deciding on the Climate Action Plan 2050. One main conclusion is that the dialogue process itself was a success and the starting point for a new type of policy making, which takes more into account the views both of the relevant stakeholders and the citizens. This may also help to increase the public confidence in future climate policy, even if the actual contribution of the dialogue process on the contents of the final Climate Action Plan 2050 was smaller than intended in the beginning.