Germany learns from Europe – exchanging good practice climate policy in the ESD sectors

BEACON Workshop - Erfahrungsaustausch zu Erfolgreichen Klimaschutzinstrumenten In Europa

European climate experts from academia and politics came together in Berlin for a public workshop “Sharing Knowledge of Successful Climate Protection Instruments in Europe” of the BEACON project. They discussed examples of good practice policy from all over the continent.


Germany may be a frontrunner in the Energiewende. But greenhouse gas emissions from sectors such as transport, buildings, small industries and agriculture continue to climb. Germany thus looks set to miss its 2020 national climate target and may have to purchase emissions reductions achieved in other EU Member States to comply with its obligations under the EU effort-sharing directive. Looking ahead, to meet the sectoral targets for 2030 laid out in the Klimaschutzplan more ambitious and effective measures are needed. Best practice policies from other EU Member States, who have a better track record in some of these sectors, can offer inspiration in this regard.

The European Climate Initiative (EUKI) project “Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON)” aims to fill this gap – to improve knowledge and share information on good practices in national climate policies. Under the BEACON project, adelphi and Ecofys arranged the one-day workshop “Sharing Knowledge of Successful Climate Protection Instruments in Europe”, hosted by the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and held on 10 October 2018 in Berlin.

In focus: the pioneering carbon pricing policy, the Swedish carbon tax

The workshop brought together twelve experts from eight different European countries with academics and policy experts from Germany and more than 40 German representatives from a range of ministries, local governments, private sector groups and NGOs to share their experiences and learn from each other.

The workshop was opened by Silke Karcher, Head of Division EU Climate and Energy Policy of the BMU, who highlighted the opportunity for Germany to learn from the European community in developing further climate protection measures. The pioneering carbon pricing policy, the Swedish carbon tax, was presented to the group as a proven cross-sectoral measure.

Great chance to reflect on first-hand experiences of experts from across Europe

Successful approaches to reducing transport emissions, such as incentives for low-emission vehicles and modal shift for freight transport, were presented by experts from Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Experts from Denmark, Latvia, and the UK showcased measures to enhance energy efficiency and reduce emissions in the building and small industry sectors. Examples of successful agricultural policies from the Denmark, Netherlands, and the UK were also presented.

The day was capped with an engaging panel discussion on the national climate laws of France, Sweden, and the UK. In an atmosphere of collaboration, the workshop enabled detailed discussions of good practice climate policies and their potential to be transferred to Germany, with the chance to reflect on the first-hand experiences of experts from across Europe.

Selected publications from the workshop