Climate Initiative

“Increasing numbers of forest fires in Brandenburg, severe storms in Southern Germany, melting ice in the Arctic – we are seeing the catastrophic impacts of climate change on a global scale.”

Otmar D. Wiestler

Since the beginning of the industrial era, the average global temperature has risen by more than 1 degree Celsius. How will the climate continue to develop? What are the ramifications? Can we significantly reduce greenhouse gases and thus halt global warming? Science is faced with these and many other questions. As part of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative, scientists will advance their climate research in completely new research projects and network with new contacts to perform comprehensive research on climate change. We have compiled information and answers on our topic page.

Find below contact details and factsheets on the topic "Climate Change" and "Climate Research".


Press contacts

Here you will find the contacts of public relations at the Helmholtz Research Centers. In the list below you will find contact persons of the Helmholtz Initiatives.

Find out more about the Helmholtz Initiatives Research on Climate Change


The Helmholtz Climate Initiative

Georg Teutsch

Overall Coordinator und Coordinator of the Adaptation Department

Phone: +49 341 235-1800
Email. (Management Assistent)


Daniela Jacob

Coordinator of the Net-Zero Department

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 406




Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)

Ragnhild Eisengarten

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 0
Email. cs-sekretariat(at)



European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA)

Winfried Hoke

Phone: +32 2 5000 983
Email: winfried.hoke(at)



Helmholtz-Verbund Regionale Klimaänderungen (REKLIM)

Wissenschaftlicher Koordinator:

Peter Braesicke

Email. peter.braesicke(at) 


Klaus Grosfeld

Email: Klaus.Grosfeld(at)



Netzwerk der regionalen Helmholtz-Klimabüros

Email. netzwerk(at)



TERENO - Terrestrial Environmental Observatories

Heye Bogena

Phone: +49-(0)2461-616752

Steffen Zacharias

Phone:  +49-(0)341 235-1381

Ralf Kiese

Phone:  +49-(0)8821 183-153

Ingo Heinrich

Phone:   +49-(0)331-28828988
Email. ingo.heinrich(at)


Fact Sheet

Why is Germany committed to climate protection?

  • Climate change is making itself felt in Germany through an increase in extreme weather events, among other things. Economic losses caused by the heat wave of 2003 are estimated at over 13 billion euros. This heat wave also led to an estimated 7,000 additional heat-related deaths in southwest Germany.
  • If we do not limit greenhouse gas emissions, global warming could rise to 4°C or more by 2100.
  • Since the beginning of industrialization, Germany’s contribution to global warming has been almost five percent, even though the German population accounts for only about one percent of the world's population.

What are the current climate protection targets?

  • The historic Paris climate agreement is the first of its kind to make the commitments given by all signatory nations – developing and emerging countries as well as all industrialized countries – to reduce emissions from 2020 binding under international law in order to keep global warming well below 2 °C and to make efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C.
  • The EU member states have submitted “nationally determined contributions” (NDC) to the United Nations for the Paris Agreement, committing themselves to a pan-European emission reduction of at least 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This goal is embedded in the EU’s long-term climate protection goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the EU by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
  • In the 2010 Energy Concept and the Climate Action Plan 2050, Germany set milestones for reducing greenhouse gases, expanding renewable energy sources, and increasing energy efficiency. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions are to fall by at least 80 to 95 percent compared to 1990 levels, the share of renewables is to rise to 60 percent of final energy consumption, and primary energy consumption is to fall by 50 percent compared to 2008 levels.
  • In order to make the contribution to meeting the 2 °C or even 1.5 °C upper limit, German greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors are to be reduced by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.


Source: BMUB, Klimaschutz in Zahlen 2018



Contact: Helmholtz-Climate Initiative


    • Communications and External Affairs
    • Helmholtz Head Office

Research Field Earth and Environment

Our goal is to understand the System Earth to ensure that our home planet remains ecologically stable and the climate equilibrium is not knocked out of balance.

Find out more about the research programmes.