Summary: Due to the size and structure of its economy, Germany is one of the largest carbon emitters in the European Union. It is responsible for approximately 800 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, accounting for about one-fourth of European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to the level in 1990, Germany?s CO2 emissions are now 19% lower. Within the burden sharing agreement under the Kyoto Protocol, Germany is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 21% in 2008-2012 compared to 1990. A long-term national target is to reduce CO2 emissions 40% by year 2020 relative to 1990. A substantial portion of greenhouse gas emissions is produced by the electricity system. CO2 emissions due to fossil fuel combustion for electricity production amount to more than 40% of total CO2 emissions in Germany.

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