German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said a government package of energy saving measures would dramatically benefit both the environment and the economy, with cost savings of up to five billions euros.
"Environmental protection is worth it," Gabriel said
An interim study presented by the German Federal Environment Agency in Berlin on Wednesday, Oct. 31, showed that up to five billions euros ($7.2 billion) could be saved by private households and in the larger economy as a result of energy-saving measures.
The measures are part of a climate plan provisionally approved by the German cabinet during an August retreat.
According to the interim report released Wednesday, the combined effects of the plan's measures could also lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions by 36.6 percent by 2020.
Net savings: five billion
Environment Minister Gabriel
Reductions in the use of coal, oil and gas and increased efficiency, for example, could lead to savings of up to 36 billion euros, Gabriel said. Costs for investing in the expansion of renewable energy sources or using environmentally friendly technologies would likely total around 31 billion, according to the study.
Cost savings would stem, for example, from improved insulation of homes and buildings.
The results of the interim study are to flow into the German government's decision when it is to give final approval to the 30-point climate plan in December. Environment Minister Gabriel said he expects the government to approve the plan before a United Nations climate change conference scheduled for December in Indonesia.
"By approving the plan, we will give an important signal for the international negotiations: that environmental protection is worth it," Gabriel said.