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We're Number One!
Are you looking for some eco inspiration in your green home? Perhaps you should learn to "sprechen sie Deutsches." Germany has been rated the world's greenest country according to a study by British Petroleum (hmm. A petrol company sponsoring a green study. Should we be suspicious?)
While world leaders like The United States, India and China raised their energy output levels by as much as 2.4% in 2007, Germany managed to slash theirs by 5.4%. They achieved this by dramatically cutting back on nuclear energy, oil and gas and by being a world leader in new technology like solar energy. We'd also like to think there was some Hefeweizen involved.
The country's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has also set a goal of reducing the country's energy output 40% from 1990 levels by 2020. Merkel recently introduced a new national energy policy that targets high-polluting trucks and will require all homes built after 2009 to adhere to energy-saving designs. The country already offers incentives for solar energy technology, and the small college town, Marburg, recently became the first place in the country to make solar heating mandatory for all new buildings.
If you're still making summer vacation plans, you can take a tour of Germany's green architecture. They'll even arrange for you to purchase carbon offset for your trip. So go ahead, eat some brats, take a tour and come backed inspired. [Times of India]