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Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Summary

By using fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, humans release large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2). This greenhouse gas contributes substantially to global warming – reducing our CO2 emissions is therefore an important measure to protect our climate.

In light of this, the Berlin Senate is pursuing ambitious plans: the Energy Transition Act (Energiewendegesetz) stipulates that the country shall be climate neutral by 2050. An important milestone on the way to this goal has already been reached: set in the 1990s, the target of reducing CO2 emissions per inhabitant by 25 percent between 1990 and 2010 was not only met but exceeded slightly (AfS 2013).

Especially in the 1990s, there were multiple reasons that emissions were reduced successfully. With a restructured economy, partly due to German reunification, came a widespread increase in energy efficiency – both in buildings and industrial plants. Furthermore, the use of energy sources with high CO2 emissions, such as brown coal, was reduced. In the first half of the decade, the energy supplying power and heating plants played a key role in reducing emissions.

The maps provide an enlightening snapshot of Berlin’s CO2 emissions in the mid-1990s. They highlight the CO2 emissions by street blocks and by the following polluter groups: private households, industry and commerce, transport and power generation.