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

Federal Government business travel remains climate neutral

Operators of climate protection projects worldwide are eligible to apply for offsetting procedure

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

The Federal Government neutralizes once again all emissions caused by its business trips. Emissions will be offset by high-quality climate protection projects. The Federal Government plans to purchase and permanently cancel a total of 203,630 Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) for 2015. Climate-friendly action – avoidance, reduction, offsetting – therefore continues to be a fixed feature of official travel. More than 100,000 CERs were already purchased and cancelled in 2014. Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said: “The less we fly, the better it is for the environment and climate. But where it is unavoidable, it can be helpful to offset the CO2 emissions which are produced. We are again calling upon national and international providers to offer carbon credits from high-standard climate protection projects".

The Federal Government decided in 2015 to offset the climate impact of all its employees' business travel as of the the beginning of the current legislative period. These are all trips by air and car of 110 ministries and federal authorities.

Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA), said: "When selecting climate protection projects we focus on measures which promise to make an especially high contribution to sustainable development. As a result, offsetting business travel goes beyond compensation for greenhouse gas emissions alone. The quality criteria for the selection of climate protection projects are oriented towards the guidelines of Germany's Climate Action Plan 2050 and the global UN Sustainability Goals."

The UBA has launched the procedure to purchase 203,630 CERs for 2015 under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. It enables industrialised countries, in cooperation with developing countries, to implement climate protection projects outside their own countries. The UBA reviews all the proposed projects for compliance against high quality criteria.

The volume of emissions is calculated based on business travel data from 2015. The UBA gathered data on all the distances travelled by air and the fuel consumption of the ministries and federal authorities’ vehicle fleet to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions for air travel are multiplied by a factor of three to take the higher climate impact of air travel into account.

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