May 08th 2024

SDG: Goal 13 Climate protection measures

SDG: Goal 13 Climate protection measures: Climate change is a key challenge for sustainable development. The warming of the earth’s atmosphere is triggering changes in the global climate system. These changes threaten the livelihoods of population groups in less developed regions of the world, while in developed regions it is primarily the infrastructure and certain economic sectors that are exposed to the risks of climate change. Due to changes in precipitation and temperature cycles, ecosystems such as forests, agricultural areas, mountain regions and oceans, as well as the plants, animals and people living in them, are also affected. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by more than 50% between 1990 and 2012.

What are the measures?

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieve global greenhouse gas neutrality by the middle of the century:

It is important to improve the political framework conditions in emerging and developing countries for climate protection. This could be achieved through increased international cooperation and financial support to help these countries implement climate protection measures.

Economic reconstruction after the coronavirus crisis offers a unique opportunity to set an ecological course. Investments in renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure and environmentally friendly technologies can help to reduce emissions and promote sustainable development.

It is also important to make international financial institutions compatible with the Paris climate goals. This could be achieved by reviewing existing guidelines and developing new instruments to promote climate protection projects.

The private sector plays a crucial role in global climate protection. Companies can make a significant contribution to climate protection by switching to sustainable business models, reducing emissions and promoting environmentally friendly practices.

It is also important to support 50 emerging and developing countries in formulating and implementing ambitious climate targets by 2025. This could be done through technical assistance, capacity building and financial support.

In addition, it is crucial to insure 500 million poor and vulnerable people against climate risks by 2025. This could be achieved through the development and implementation of adaptation measures such as early warning systems, resilient infrastructure and social protection measures.

Finally, it is important to mobilize private commitment to climate protection and sustainable development in partner countries. This could be achieved by fostering partnerships between governments, businesses, civil society and other actors to find joint solutions to the climate crisis.

The situation is Germany

Our individual carbon footprint is almost twice as high as the global average. The target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 has been successfully achieved. By 2023, Germany managed to reduce emissions by a further 7%, which corresponds to an overall reduction of 53.9% compared to 1990. Nevertheless, further climate protection measures are urgently needed to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045.

The number of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, flooding and heatwaves has tripled in the last five decades. The year 2023 was the hottest and driest year in Germany since records began in 1881. Since then, the average temperature has risen by 1.4°C. Forecasts indicate that summers will bring less precipitation in the future, while mild winters will lead to a decrease in snowfall. In the Alps, less snow is expected to fall and the risk of avalanches will increase.

Our forests and bodies of water are also particularly affected by climate change. Trees are suffering from a lack of water, while the heat is increasing the risk of forest fires and pests such as the bark beetle are spreading. In the North Sea and Baltic Sea as well as in some lakes, the growth of algae and bacteria is increasing, with some species being toxic.

Experts estimate that air travel contributes about 5% to climate change. Every person who considers alternative travel options therefore makes a significant contribution to climate protection. A positive trend can be observed in Germany: The proportion of domestic flights has fallen by 38% compared to 2019 levels.

And internationally?

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the most pressing issues of our time. The year 2023 set a sad record as the warmest year since records began. The global mean temperature was 1.48 degrees Celsius above the level of the pre-industrial era. This warming goes hand in hand with a drastic increase in CO2 levels, which have risen by an impressive 146% since the pre-industrial era. This development is having a devastating impact, particularly on polar ice sheets and glaciers worldwide. In the last 25 years, an incredible 3 trillion tons of ice have melted, equivalent to the weight of 150 tanker trucks passing by on the highway every second.

The effects of climate change are being felt in the form of more frequent landslides, floods, hurricanes, droughts and heat waves, heavy rainfall and storm surges. These events not only lead to the destruction of homes and crops, but also force millions of people to leave their homes and flee every year. In 2022, around 32.6 million people were forced to leave their homes due to natural disasters. But it’s not just people who are affected – animals and plants are also being displaced from their natural habitats and are increasingly threatened with extinction.

Climate change is a catalyst for a growing number of disasters. The global cost of the damage caused by climate change is estimated to be an astronomical 1.7 to 3.1 trillion dollars per year by 2050. These costs include damage to infrastructure, property, agriculture and human health and highlight the urgent need to take action to combat climate change.

Where are we now?

In May 2023, the United Nations SDG Progress Report issued a stark warning: “The world is on the brink of climate catastrophe, and current actions and plans to address the crisis are inadequate.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a temporary 5.2% drop in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. However, after the end of COVID-related restrictions, demand for coal, oil and gas increased again, leading to a six percent increase in global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2021 – a record high. According to forecasts, they continued to rise in 2022.

The window of opportunity to avert an impending climate catastrophe is rapidly closing. Increasing heatwaves, droughts, floods and forest fires are already affecting people around the world and leading to potentially irreversible changes in global ecosystems.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in order to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius or even 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels, as stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 43% by 2030 and reduced to zero by 2050.

However, countries’ current national climate protection commitments are insufficient to achieve the 1.5 degree target. It is expected that greenhouse gas emissions could rise by almost 14 percent over the next ten years.


It is clear that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time that requires global cooperation. Despite international efforts and agreements, climate change remains a threat that affects everyone.

Current trends show that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and the effects of climate change are already being felt. It is crucial that the global community takes decisive action to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, as set out in the Paris Agreement. This requires drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and increased adaptation to the changes already taking place.

In order to achieve the goals of SDG 13, efforts to combat climate change must be stepped up. This requires close cooperation at international level, a transformation of the economy towards sustainable practices and increased adaptability of societies to the changes already taking place. It is crucial that governments, businesses and civil society work together to mitigate climate change and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

The overview of the 17 goals can be read here

Overview of the 17 goals


You can find information from the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here:

Information from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development can be found here:

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