Climate change is resulting in an increasing number of hot summer days in Germany. Tropical nights – when the temperature doesn't fall below 20 °C – are increasing. This is a particular burden for vulnerable groups in densely populated inner cities. A recent study by the UBA has systematically investigated how cooler temperatures can be realised in inner-city neighbourhoods and their buildings. 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).
EU regulation won’t cut pesticide use without incentives for farmers
The European Commission has presented a draft regulation on the sustainable use of pesticides, which aims to drastically reduce their application. The German Environment Agency (UBA) welcomes the proposed regulation but believes its guidelines could be improved to ensure it works in practice. read more
Giving value added tax an ecological and social dimension
The German Environment Agency (UBA) has proposed aligning VAT more closely with ecological and social criteria. The core of the "Climate and Environment Relief Package" is to exempt plant-based staple foods such as fruit, vegetables, grain products and vegetable oils and public passenger transport from VAT altogether. read more
Global, multi-stakeholder digital coalition presents plan for a green digital revolution
The Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) aims to help reorient and prioritize the application of digital technologies to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. read more
"PARC": EU research partnership on chemical risk assessment launches
How dangerous are chemicals that we use and come into contact with every day? The "PARC" initiative of the European Union (EU), launched in Paris on 11 May 2022, is breaking new ground in the assessment of chemical substances. The aim is to improve knowledge about chemical substances in order to better protect human health and the environment. read more
Young people care about environment and climate
85 percent of the young people surveyed say environmental protection and climate action are important, thus ranking the topic among the four most important to young people in Germany. These are the findings of the representative survey “Zukunft? Jugend fragen! – 2021”. The grand challenges in preserving our essential life support systems are a matter of concern to young people. read more
Global CODES Network develops joint Action Plan to co-create a sustainable digital transformation globally
On 2 March 2022, the Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age was presented during the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) taking place in Nairobi from 28 February – 2 March 2022. The Action Plan is a new international vision to harness digital change for our sustainability goals. read more
Environmental awareness: Great momentum for socio-ecological transformation
People in Germany expect more political action to protect the environment and climate as environmental awareness of the damaging influence of pollution has grown over the past 20 years. These are the findings of a detailed analysis of the Environmental Awareness in Germany 2020 study. read more