An industrial region in transition: Energy and climate policy in North Rhine-Westphalia

Reading time: 15 minutes
19 May 2016

Tackling climate change on a global scale requires economies to adopt low carbon energy systems – and to do so quickly. Some of the largest potential emissions cuts can only happen through policies developed and implemented by state and regional governments. Many states and regions are already implementing forward-thinking climate and energy policies that are shaping the world’s future policy landscape. They play a crucial role in helping to deliver the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions needed at the same time as responding to growing global demand for energy.

This briefing paper looks at energy transition policies and models in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It forms part of a series of briefings on clean energy policies of state and regional governments. The briefing was written by the Wuppertal Insitute and summarizes the main findings of their research on the North Rhine-Westpalian energy transition experience.

North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the most economically important states of Europe and largest industrial state in Germany where a third of the country’s electrical power is generated and over a third of national emissions are produced has continued its pathway to integrated climate and energy policies. The government initiated its Climate Protection Plan last year to meet binding climate protection targets of reduced emissions by 25% by 2020 and by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

This briefing paper is part of our Energy Transition Platform, which was launched by The Climate Group, alongside the initiative’s lead government, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Stiftung Mercator in early 2016. The global initiative supports highly industrialized, carbon-intensive state and regional governments in developing and implementing innovative clean energy policies to accelerate the low carbon transition. The Energy Transition Platform is part of the States & Regions Policy Innovation program.

Energy Transition Platform

For more information, contact:
Libby Ferguson, Senior Advisor, The Climate Group
+44 (0)20 7960 2970
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