The cities of Esslingen, Freiburg, Munich, Hanover and Worms have already completed successful tests of the new web site in a pilot phase. Now, just a few weeks ahead of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, any and all interested cities, municipalities and administrative districts can get down to business in climate protection matters at the local and regional levels. Upon release of the portal Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency, said, ”The benchmarking procedure will help German municipalities to point the way ahead in climate protection, for setting a good example will lead to the conclusion that protecting the climate pays off-- for municipal budgets, too.”
This is the guiding principle by which municipalities are also sponsored by the BMU’s climate protection initiative, for example through implementation of pathbreaking strategies or individual pilot projects. The municipality that invests in better insulated schools, town halls or swimming baths can do a great deal to lighten the burden on public budgets. The potential of local climate protection efforts is still great: the more efficient the design of public electricity and heating supply, the energetic modernisation of buildings, or ‘green’ traffic planning can all do a lot to help communities significantly reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
The new benchmarking instrument was officially inaugurated on 18 November 2009 in Hamburg as part of the 9th Local Climate Protection Conference of the Climate Alliance. The Climate Alliance and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (IFEU) co-operated on development of the web site. The project was funded by the Federal Environment Agency.