Climate governance and federalism in Germany

Eckersley, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-9048-8529, Kern, K., Haupt, W. and Müller, H., 2023. Climate governance and federalism in Germany. In: A. Fenna, S. Jodoin and J. Setzer, eds., Climate governance and federalism: a forum of federations comparative policy analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 150-176. ISBN 9781009249676

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Germany is often viewed as a climate and environmental leader, and its model of cooperative federalism meant that public bodies at different levels of government were well-placed to coordinate an early transition away from nuclear power and towards renewable energy. However, although some German states (Länder) have highly developed green economy sectors, other areas (particularly in the eastern part of the country) are still heavily reliant on fossil fuel extraction and combustion. Given that the federal system provides different interests with multiple venues to push their cause and veto more ambitious initiatives, this has contributed to divergence in climate policy at the subnational level, largely reflecting the political and socio-economic contexts of the different Länder. Individual states are also restricted by the fact that policies in key sectors (such as emissions trading, automobile standards and transport infrastructure) are made at the EU or federal levels. Given that progress at these higher tiers of governance is often very slow in the absence of consensus, the differences between various Länder could mean that climate policymaking within the German system becomes less cooperative, and the country fails to achieve its mitigation and adaptation objectives.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Eckersley, P., Kern, K., Haupt, W. and Müller, H.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: Cambridge
Date: May 2023
ISBN: 9781009249676
Rights: © Alan Fenna, Sébastien Jodoin and Joana Setzer 2023. An online version of this work is published at under a Creative Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the original work is given. You may not distribute derivative works without permission. To view a copy of this license, visit
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 24 Jan 2022 17:03
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 14:50

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