Division I

Dr. Harry Lehmann in the atrium of the UBA office building Dessau-RoßlauClick to enlarge
Dr. Harry Lehmann is the head of Division I
Source: Steffen Proske

Division I’s sphere of responsibility encompasses sustainable development strategies, climate protection, energy, traffic and noise pollution. In this regard, sustainable-development strategies aimed at substantially reducing the carbon footprint of energy and raw material use are taking on ever growing importance.

Environmental Planning and Sustainability Strategies

Climate protection

Climate protection is one of the biggest challenges now facing the human race. Climate change is a problem that can only be mastered if energy efficiency is improved and more of the energy used by Germany and other industrial nations is derived from renewable resources. Among the issues addressed by Division I are the following: promoting the advancement and development of international climate protection agreements; elaboration and implementation of long term energy supply scenarios for the future; promoting the use of renewable energy; finding ways to reduce building and electrical appliance and device power consumption; compiling and processing energy and emission data for Germany.

Environmentally sustainable transport

Vehicular traffic is one of the most serious environmental problems facing us today. For many people, a car is not just a means of transportation, but is also an expression of their individual lifestyle. It is against this backdrop that Division I, apart from its work on technologies aimed at reducing motor vehicle related environmental degradation, also investigates psychological strategies aimed at encouraging Germans to switch to environmentally sustainable means of transportation. The goal here is for all motorized transportation modalities to be quieter, use fewer raw materials and generate less waste and lower emissions so as to improve air quality by reducing pollution. This applies not to only to road traffic, but also to commercial air travel, shipping and mobile machines and devices.

Environmental law, business, and society

If we are to reach our environmental protection goals, we need to have more appropriate instruments at our disposal. To this end, Division I elaborates instruments from a legal, economic and social science standpoint that target the following areas: climate protection; air quality improvement; land use reduction; resource conservation. The consolidation and simplification of environmental law through an Environmental Code or other regulatory approaches also continues to figure on the agenda.

Division I also works on the legal and methodological aspects of a topic area we call “environmental impact assessement of environmentally relevant plans and projects.” This also includes evaluating and approving all activities in the Antarctic whose jumping off point is Germany.

Environmental data

If you want to protect the environment, you’ve got to have reliable data. Division I collects such data from all around Germany and compiles it into highly informative statistics and graphics, which are then posted on our Environmental Data page. An additional main focus of Division I comprises various databases (available in German only), the main ones being the Umweltportal Deutschland (PortalU), the Umweldatenkatalog (UDK), the Geographische Informationssystem Umwelt (GISU), the Umweltforschungsdatenbank (UFORDAT) and the Umweltliteraturdatenbank (ULIDAT) [respectively: environmental portal for Germany; environmental catalogue; environmental geographical information system; environmental research database; environmental literature database].

International cooperation

International cooperation in the field of environmental protection has taken on ever growing importance over the past two decades. The main cooperation partners in this regard are European Union and United Nations organisms, the OECD, and Central and Eastern European states. The UBA also acts as the German Focal Point for the European Environmental Agency (EEA).

In the wake of the expansion of the European Union (EU), the UBA assists new member states and accession candidates from Central and Eastern Europe via initiatives such as the twinning tool, with the goal of helping such states to implement EU environmental policies. Partnerships are formed with thesese states, whereby expert officials are sent there to help them to implement Community law.

The Advisory Assistance Programme for environmental protection in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and selected Caucasus and Central Asian states aims to promote the process of implementing stringent environmental standards. The aim of German projects tailored to the situations in each of the target states is to support the Environment for Europe process and the regional environmental action programme that was adopted at the 1993 environmental ministers’ conference in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Ministry of the Environment has assigned the UBA the task of implementing the advisory assistance programme.

Environmental and spatial planning

Sparing use of environmental resources and greenfield land in particular is the main goal of environmental and spatial planning, which concerns itself with everything from sustainable regional development to urban and rural development to green construction and a programme known as Lokale Agenda 21.

German Environment Agency

The impact of climate change will be felt more strongly in the future – and in Germany too. This is the conclusion reached in what is called the vulnerability analysis, a comprehensive study on Germany's vulnerability to climate change.

The UBA

Contact

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Germany

Telephone: +49-340-2103-0
Fax: +49-340-2103-2285
Email: buergerservice[at]uba.de