Interview opportunity: Fighting climate change around the globe

From energy managers in India to mangrove forests in Viet Nam, GIZ supports solutions that have far-reaching effects.

At the Climate Change Conference in December, delegates from around 200 nations will come together in Paris to map out a joint climate treaty. Their focus will be on minimising emissions in order to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. The conference will also look at how people can adapt to climate change. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is involved in projects pursuing these two objectives in more than 100 countries around the world.

India alone has achieved CO2 savings equivalent to Germany's transport emissions

The GIZ-backed climate change mitigation measures in India have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 163 million tonnes since 2000. That is more than the annual CO2 emissions produced by Germany's entire road, rail and air transport sector. India is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world, with the industrial sector generating significant emissions harmful to the environment and climate. High energy consumption is endangering the country's energy's security and undermining its international competitiveness. Among other activities, GIZ is supporting India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to boost energy performance at 478 business locations, which together produce one third of India's total CO2 emissions, by recruiting energy managers and implementing energy efficiency programmes. If the companies succeed in achieving their self-imposed energy savings targets, they receive emission allowances they can trade on the market. If they fail to meet the targets, they have to buy emissions certificates or pay a fine. The trading market for CO2 certificates represents an important contribution to climate protection and saves costs. As a direct result, India is avoiding around 24 million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Furthermore, commissioned by Germany's Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB), GIZ is assisting the Indian Government in paving the way for the use of solar energy in industrial zones and urban areas, and has initiated pilot projects throughout the country. In New Delhi, this has led to cooperation with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Comprising almost 190 km and 124 metro stations, the metro rail network in Delhi transports up to 2.5 million passengers per day. In cooperation with GIZ, rooftop solar panels have now been installed on metro stations within the city. Solar power systems will be added to more metro stations and pertinent buildings through 2017, with the aim of generating a total capacity of 20 MW.

Forest protection equals climate protection – forest area 150 times the size of Germany’s has been conserved

Every forest that is protected and sustainably managed is good for the climate. Worldwide, the forests protected with GIZ’s support over the last 10 years cover an area 150 times the size of Germany’s own woodlands. Take Viet Nam for example: The Mekong Delta in Viet Nam is home to some 17 million people. More than half of the country's entire rice harvest comes from here. But the coastal region is facing major challenges as Viet Nam is one of the countries most seriously affected by climate change. In recent years, the frequency and magnitude of storms and tidal surges have increased considerably. In many coastal areas, this has led to the destruction of large parts of the protective mangrove forests. Moreover, global warming has caused sea levels to rise, thus increasing levels of soil salinity. Working on behalf of BMZ and the Australian Government, GIZ is promoting natural coastal protection by replanting mangroves and building simple bamboo fences to protect the coastline. As a result, 10 hectares of land – the size of 20 football pitches – have been reclaimed from the sea and rehabilitated with mangrove forests, thus offering some 40,000 people better protection from flooding. Salt-tolerant rice varieties have been introduced too, restoring the livelihoods of around 18,000 people who live off the land.

Our experts Winfried Damm from New Delhi and Christian Hence from Hanoi will be happy to give you a telephone interview. If you are interested, please contact the GIZ Press Office.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving their living conditions.