Germany is one of the leading countries in Europe, as well as globally, in terms of its renewable energy and climate change policies. The multiple levels of government within the European Union (EU) mean that the German government must interact both with EU institutions (e.g., the Commission, Council, and Parliament) and subnational Lander, or states, when formulating and implementing policy. The grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats that came into power in 2005 has set demanding national climate change and renewable energy goals and actively supports international climate negotiations, often spurring EU policy. This progressive policy has its roots in the air pollution control policies that started to develop in the 1970s. This article discusses the various factors that are behind Germany's climate change policy leadership.
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