Joint press release by German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

Federal employees continue to travel climate-friendly

German Environment Agency issues tender procedure to offset 2016 business travel

business travellers in an airportClick to enlarge
The German Government offsets its business travel to make it climate neutral
Source: Rawpixel.com / Fotolia.de

Emission reduction credits (ERCs) from high-quality international climate change mitigation projects will continue to compensate the official travel by German federal employees. The Federal Government plans to purchase more than 235,000 ERCs which will then be cancelled. ERCs for emissions in 2015 were purchased earlier this year. The next compensation procedure for 2016 emissions will now follow.

Federal Minister for Environment Barbara Hendricks said: "Avoiding emissions should always be first choice. But the Federal Government offsets what is unavoidable by investing in high-quality climate change mitigation projects. We will also be doing this for the Climate Change Conference in November 2017 in Bonn, keeping emissions and pollution as low as possible and offsetting unavoidable emissions." In early 2015 the Federal Government agreed to compensate for the climate impact of all its official travel as of the current legislative term. This includes car and air travel by staff at 110 federal authorities. 

President Maria Krautzberger of the German Environment Agency (UBA) said: "Climate-friendly official travel is firmly established in the Federal Government. And this is why we are reissuing our demand for internationally recognised climate change mitigation projects with high standards from which we can obtain ERCs. We place high value on projects devoted to sustainable development. It is important that official travel go beyond merely offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and also provide some positive impetus for sustainable development." It is also why the tendering procedure stipulates quality criteria which aim to also promote ecological and social development in the project region, too. The criteria are oriented to the approach taken by Germany's Climate Action Plan 2050 and the United Nations' global Sustainable Development Goals.

UBA is now starting the process of acquiring more than 235,000 ERCs for the year 2016 from high-quality climate change mitigation projects through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Under the provisions of the UN Kyoto Protocol, CDM makes it possible for industrialised countries to promote climate protection through involvement in projects in developing countries. The volume of emissions is calculated based on the official travel data of all federal government and administration employees in 2016 (the year to be offset). Emissions totalled 235,240 tons of CO2 equivalents. UBA recorded the mileage travelled for all official air travel and the fuel consumption of its official cars to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. Because high amounts of emissions in aviation are more climate-damaging than ground-level emissions, UBA also added in a factor of 3 for all its air travel. UBA is also reviewing all the projects on offer for compliance with the required level of quality.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Germany