Germany has a strong commitment to protecting its environment. It has actively promoted the use of renewable energy, both under the Kohl government with the Electricity Feed Law, and now under Schroeder's government with eco-taxes. However, Germanyís reliance on Coal, particularly brown coal, for electricity generation and the heavy industrialization of the economy has lead to serious problems with air pollution, acid rain, and habitat degradation. These problems are particularly acute in the former East Germany.

Germany consumed 14.2 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btu) of total energy in 2003, of which Oil was 39 percent, coal was 24 percent, and Natural Gas was 23 percent. With an energy intensity of 6,800 Btu per dollar (2000, PPP) of economic output in 2003, Germany is below the average energy intensity for the 25 countries in the OECD.

Germany ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change on May 31, 2002. In 2003, the country emitted 842.0 million metric tons (Mmt) of Carbon dioxide, making it the sixth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world and the third largest within the OECD. The EU has decided to meet its Kyoto obligations as a whole, rather than as individual signatories. Under the EUís burden-sharing program, Germany must cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 21 percent relative to the 1990 baseline during the 2008-2012 commitment period. The EU expected Germany to make such deep cuts, because the country has already experienced a sharp decline in carbon dioxide emissions following reunification.
Source: Energy Information Administration