This year's winners of the Blauer Kompass contest: an innovative urban sewage system in Solingen, an educational programme on climate change for trainees in Heidelberg, a project to green a city neighbourhood in Cologne, and a shade provider operated with photovoltaic modules by the Kunsthochschule Kassel. read more
We simply cannot pillage the earth’s resources in perpetuity. There are natural limits to what the ecosphere can tolerate, and we need to observe these limits. Hence at the UBA we use the metaphor of a river waterway containing buoys, whereby ships represent socioeconomic development and buoys the limits that ships are not allowed to venture beyond. In other words, the ships can move freely within the limits set by the buoys, but cannot venture outside the confines of the waterway. Against this backdrop, our national sustainable development strategy, which defines sustainable development objectives and indicators, is a pivotal component of German sustainable development policy.
The UBA elaborates strategies aimed at exercising long term influence over social trends in a predictive manner that factors in all relevant processes and resources. Our aim in doing this is no less than to successfully catalyze the process of change and enable change to be incorporated at all social and political levels, whether the issue in question is governance, citizen participation or futures studies. We develop and use economic, legal, investigative, planning, informational and institutional instruments in the interest of fostering socioeconomic change that will bring us closer to a world where sustainable development and ecological justice reign.
Because problems in the sustainable development and environmental spheres are usually multi-facetted and attributable to cross-border factors, we need to find solutions with an international reach. International cooperation in the field of environmental protection has taken on ever growing importance over the past two decades. In this arena, we mainly work with EU and UN institutions, the OECD, and Central and Eastern European governments. The UBA also acts as the liaison with the European Environmental Agency (EEA).
From 2015 to 2017, the Advisory Assistance Programme funded a project of Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO), which provided advice to the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment on development and implementation of approaches for energy-efficient redevelopment of urban areas. The documentation is now online. A brochure and a leaflet facilitate the transfer of knowledge also beyond Lithuania. read more
The use of treated wastewater, e.g. for agricultural irrigation, can alleviate pressures on water resources. At the same time it poses risks as treated wastewater can contain pathogens and chemicals. By May 2018 the European Commission wants to publish a regulatory proposal for requirements. UBA President Krautzberger and EU Parliamentarian Wölken invited for a discussion on 22 March in Brussels. read more
The German Environment Agency welcomes the EU’s initiative to change the use of plastics in Europe. The European Commission presented its Plastics Strategy on January 16th. read more
Environmental and nature conservation associations can gain recognition pursuant to art. 3 Environmental Appeals Act (Umwelt-Rechtsbehelfsgesetz, UmwRG) and thereby acquire special participation and litigation rights. The German Environment Agency (UBA) and the competent authorities at federal state (Länder) level are responsible for granting recognition. read more
The German Environment Agency recently published its Data on the Environment 2017 report. Action is needed with regard to climate protection policy, improvement of resource efficiency and nutrient pollution, good news for recycling rates and drinking water quality. read more
The availability of raw materials is determined by more than technical-geological, economic and political factors alone: the environmental risks of mining also has an impact. read more
The agencies from nearly 20 EU countries responsible for the enforcement of the European WEEE Directive have formed a network. UBA initiated the constitutional meeting on 7-8 September 2017. The representatives from all participating EU-countries agreed to cooperate more closely in the future in order to prosecute non-compliant producers who trade across borders more effectively. read more