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.