The shortage of housing is a problem in many large cities and metropolitan areas. The building sector has for years failed to meet its environmental and climate targets. A position paper by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Commission for Sustainable Building (KNBau) at UBA investigates how affordable housing can be built without harm to the environment and human health. read more
Sustainability | Strategies | International matters
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).
Consumer protection: German Environment Agency participates in European screening for manipulative online shop practices
The European consumer protection network, with the first-ever participation of the German Environment Agency, revealed manipulative practices on 148 out of 399 online shops it screened. read more
Blauer Kompass award for outstanding projects in climate change adaptation and risk prevention
A flood alliance, “Tiny Forests” as a place for teaching about climate change adaptation and others – the winners of the national Blauer Kompass Award 2022 have been announced. The €25,000 in prize money is awarded to outstanding climate change adaptation projects in the areas of flood protection, agriculture, skilled crafts and trade, environmental education and rural development. read more
Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES)
UBA together with UNDP, UNEP, Future Earth, ISC, and Kenya is championing the Coalition for Digital Environment Sustainability – CODES, which brings together science community, governmental institutions, UN Bodies, tech companies, and civil society. read more
International TES Academy kicks off at UBA
The new International Academy Transformation for Environment and Sustainability (TES Academy) has been launched in a pilot phase at UBA. The kick-off to the project is a virtual discussion series about the implications of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine on the sustainability transformation and how to respond to the situation. read more
Heat in the inner city: a plea for more trees and shade
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
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