What exactly is the “Climate-neutral federal administration“ roadmap?

The federal administration is moving towards climate neutrality, and is acting as a role model for this. A specific roadmap now shows how the administration can be organised on a climate-neutral basis.

Illustration: Haus unter einer Lupe© BMWK

The Federal Climate Change Act puts it bluntly: by 2030, our federal administration is to be organised on a climate-neutral basis. The necessary priorities and measures are now set out in the new “Climate-neutral federal administration” roadmap, which was presented at COP28 in Dubai at the end of 2023. Why was it presented at COP28?

Germany is not the only country with ambitions to have a climate-friendly administration. A total of 16 countries presented their own roadmaps at COP28, including Australia, Singapore and South Korea. They are all part of the international Net-Zero Government Initiative (NZGI), whose members are pursuing a zero-emissions strategy for their administrations by 2050. The initiative currently has 30 members, from all continents. For example, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Nigeria and Spain have now all come on board.

But what does the German roadmap actually say, and how big are the challenges and benefits? Anyone who has started work on making their own home more sustainable and climate-friendly will know that it is no easy task. The state has a special part to play as a role model for climate action – as a large energy consumer, vehicle fleet owner, real estate holder and purchaser of goods and services. The federal administration, which the roadmap covers, currently employs some 300,000 staff in more than 130 federal agencies.

In addition to binding obligations, shared experience, specific hints and guidelines are helping all the parts of the administration to become climate-friendly. In particular, buildings, official travel, procurement, events and canteens are to be rigorously oriented to climate action.

The “Climate-neutral federal administration coordination office”, which was set up in 2020, is working with the federal agencies to develop emission-reducing measures, flagging up ways to work in day-to-day administration without greenhouse gas emissions, and organising the exchange of experience between the Länder.

The German roadmap provides an informative overview of the Federation’s measures to achieve climate or greenhouse gas neutrality, and thereby points the way forward for the federal administration. The measures of the roadmap cover the content of various programmes, laws and other sources relating to a federal administration organised on a climate-neutral basis, especially from the “Sustainability measures programme” and the Energy Efficiency Act, the federal buildings energy efficiency stipulations, the Federal Travel Expenses Act, etc. You can find the entire Roadmap here (in German only).