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Climate Protection and Climate Targets in the Building Sector in Germany

Climate protection and climate targets in the building sector in Germany

Climate protection in Germany is about to take a decisive turn. With the new Climate Protection Act, which was passed by the Bundesrat in April 2024, the federal government is sending a strong signal for a forward-looking and sustainable climate policy. The goal is clear: Germany is to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. Net greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to zero and the new law plays a key role in this.  

What measures and strategies is the building sector implementing with regard to current climate policy and how important is the ShareYourSpace platform for achieving the climate targets in Germany?  

The following is a brief overview of the new Climate Protection Act and the German government's climate protection programme and the measures and challenges they pose for the real estate industry. 


The new Climate Protection Act at a glance 

The Climate Protection Act forms the basis of national climate policy and focuses on future emissions. This enables proactive adaptation and readjustment of measures to keep Germany on the right course. 

A central aspect of the Act is the strengthening of the overall responsibility of the Federal Government. The reduction of greenhouse gases will no longer be considered in isolation in individual sectors, but will be tackled across all sectors. Emissions are to be reduced where there is the greatest potential for savings, which will enable the climate targets to be implemented in an economically efficient and socially just manner. In addition, the independent Expert Council for Climate Issues will be strengthened, which in future will not only be able to validate forecasts but also make proposals for the further development of climate protection measures. 


The law also provides for the creation of a comprehensive climate protection programme containing concrete measures to achieve climate neutrality by 2045. The current climate protection programme was adopted in October 2023 and sets ambitious targets for the coming years. 


The German government's climate protection programme 

The German government's Climate Action Programme 2030 comprises four key elements for reducing CO₂ emissions: funding programmes for CO₂ savings, the pricing of CO₂, financial relief for citizens and increased regulatory measures. These measures ensure that CO₂ reductions are economically, socially acceptable and financially feasible. Subsidy programmes offer financial incentives until 2030, while CO₂ pricing promotes innovation and additional revenue is reinvested in climate protection measures. Regulatory measures set binding standards for reducing emissions. Measures that have already been implemented, such as the revision of the Building Energy Act, the Germany Ticket and the CO₂-dependent HGV toll, demonstrate the practical application of the programme, which aims to achieve the climate targets by 2030 and establish a climate-neutral economy in the long term. 


The climate targets and their significance for the building sector 

The building sector is a central pillar in the fight against climate change. In Germany, it is responsible for around a third of total CO₂ emissions and the building sector must make a significant contribution to achieving the national climate targets. The Climate Protection Act sets clear targets here: By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 65 per cent compared to 1990 and climate neutrality is to be achieved by 2045. The energy-efficient refurbishment of existing buildings poses a particular challenge, as many buildings in Germany are more than 30 years old and have considerable deficits in terms of energy efficiency. These refurbishments are cost-intensive and require a coordinated effort by politicians, businesses and owners. 


Challenges in the building sector 

Many older buildings do not meet today's energy standards and refurbishing them is both financially and technically challenging.

The necessary measures include:  

  • Improving thermal insulation 
  • Replacing inefficient heating systems 
  • Installing modern technologies such as heat pumps and solar systems 

Another challenge is technological change. The switch to renewable energies and the use of modern technologies are essential in order to reduce CO₂ emissions. This requires high levels of investment and adaptation of the existing infrastructure. In addition, new regulatory requirements must be met, which requires clear guidelines and support from the government. 


Measures to achieve the climate targets 

In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets, the German government has initiated various measures and programmes. A key element of these are subsidy programmes for energy-efficient refurbishment, which offer homeowners and investors financial incentives to invest in energy-efficient measures such as thermal insulation, efficient heating systems and the use of renewable energies. 


The use of innovative construction and refurbishment technologies such as energy-efficient heating systems, high-quality thermal insulation and modern smart home technologies can significantly increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Climate-neutral concepts must be implemented in new buildings from the outset, including sustainable building materials, the integration of renewable energies and energy-efficient construction methods. 


Contribution of the property industry 

The property industry can and must actively contribute to achieving climate targets through various strategies and measures. Investments in sustainable projects and cooperation with technology companies, energy suppliers and the public sector are of central importance in order to create synergies and accelerate the implementation of climate protection measures. Transparent communication of the company's own climate protection measures and successes can strengthen the trust of tenants and investors and serve as a role model for other companies.  


Important note: Climate protection also requires a long-term perspective. Property companies should therefore develop long-term strategies that go beyond short-term economic benefits and focus on sustainability. Only through joint efforts and long-term commitment can Germany become climate-neutral by 2045 and play a pioneering role in climate protection internationally. 


ShareYourSpace for sustainable office solutions 

ShareYourSpace makes a decisive contribution to climate protection in the building sector. The innovative platform is a digital marketplace for finding different, flexible workplace solutions in the office world. The efficient utilisation of existing office space reduces the need for new buildings and thus lowers the consumption of resources. This approach minimises the CO₂ emissions associated with the construction and operation of office buildings. In addition, ShareYourSpace is completely digital in its processing: booking, payment and contracts are paperless, which means that fewer resources are used for printing documents. ShareYourSpace's mission is to promote flexibility and sustainability in the office world. We support a sustainable use of space that reduces the ecological footprint of the office working world and at the same time supports flexible working models. 


An effective and cross-sectoral climate protection policy in Germany requires not only ambitious targets, but also concrete measures in various sectors, including the building sector. With its approach, ShareYourSpace shows how CO₂ emissions can be minimised through the efficient use of resources and, as in the previous article on land sealing in Germany, how land consumption in the real estate sector can be reduced. 


Status: 22.05.2024