Duties and organisation

Towards a sustainable future

Our topics

  • Image: Agnes Michenfelder

A country such as Baden-Württemberg can't cope alone the urgent challenges in the key areas of environment, climate change and energy, but with our policies we lead the way as we take challenges and find solutions to problems. We want to limit climate change. Then we set the energy and climate policy from new. These issues are particularly important to us:

Energy transition

  • We want to contain climate change. To this end, we are realigning our energy and climate protection policy. In 2011, Germany – in a political and societal consensus – decided to phase out nuclear energy. In 2022, the last German nuclear power plant will be taken off the grid. Baden-Württemberg will be particularly affected by the shutdown since nuclear power has historically provided almost half its electricity. In other words, we are facing a fundamental transition to renewable energy. But the gap can only be partially closed in this way. We also need electricity imports in the future – especially from wind power in the north of Germany to the load centres in the South of our country over high-voltage lines and over expanded and new distribution grids.

    A further point is to reduce the energy consumption especially for heating and electricity in buildings. The energy-efficient renovation of older houses is the most effective means. But not only in private buildings. Energy efficiency is also a great opportunity for Baden-Württemberg's economy. Smart energy management, alternative business and financing models (contracting) for energy investments, and concepts for resource and material efficiency in the production process help to save money and increase competitive capacity.

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Climate protection

  • Climate Protection Law

    Baden-Württemberg is a strong industrial region and currently contributes more than its share to the increase in greenhouse gases which adversely affect the climate. Our job now is to curtail the resulting climate change to the extent that it becomes manageable; to this end, we will have to rebuild our industrialized society. Our goal is to reduce CO2 emissions. In 2050, they should be lower by 90 % than they were in 1990. By adopting the new Climate Protection Law, we are facing up to our special responsibility and are providing a comprehensive legal foundation for climate protection. Climate protection is thus given force of law in Baden-Württemberg. It is our role to stipulate the margin of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Baden-Württemberg. At the same time, the law offers a reliable planning platform for the structural changes needed.

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    Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Plan (IEKK)

    In addition to the Climate Protection Law, we are introducing the Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Plan (IEKK). It provides concrete climate protection and energy goals for individual sectors (electricity generation, private households, industry, trade and commerce, agriculture and forestry, the public sector, transport, waste management), thereby becoming our key political instrument. The IEKK is a decision-making aid for all groups and bodies involved. Areas of action are the rebuilding of electricity generation, moving away from nuclear energy and towards renewable sources of energy, as well as saving energy and increasing energy and resource efficiency. Our citizens played an active role in developing the IEKK, as is to be expected of politics seen as a partnership on equal terms.

Further development of renewable energies

  • The resilience of our planet earth is limited; our resources are finite. There is no reasonable alternative to a transition to renewable energies. For this reason, their share in electricity generation in Baden-Württemberg will be increased. The plan is to increase its current share of about 20 % to almost twice that by 2020. Wind power harbours the greatest potential for development.

    With a share of wind power of 1 % in the generation of electricity, Baden-Württemberg is last among the larger German states. By 2020, wind energy should account for 10 %. We created the necessary framework with our new state planning act, the wind energy decree and the planning maps for wind power plants.

    We also see additional potential in photovoltaic systems, which could increase its share to 11 % with further development. An increase of more than 7 % is considered realistic in biomass systems. To a lesser degree, increases are possible in water power. Here, the share in electricity generation is already high, at 8 %. 

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Maintaining the natural resources

  • Water

    Using water carefully and keeping it clean is one of the most important goals of any responsible environmental policy. In Baden-Württemberg, water quality has been greatly improved over the years – we are in a top position when it comes to water quality. With its integrated action which coordinates all parties involved, our flood water protection strategy is also setting the standard in the country. Using additional funds, we are enhancing our citizens’ security without losing sight of environmental protection.

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    Soil and air

    When you protect the soil, clean up contaminated sites, and manage land, you are bound to realize how limited and sensitive our soils are. The same is true of the air: the quality of air is measured and evaluated. This provides us with the necessary data to respond to the need and to improve protection against negative impact.

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    Modern waste management is another way of avoiding detrimental effects on the environment. Waste is increasingly seen as a resource. Our goal is to develop new ways of recovering certain materials. This would help make our local economy less dependent on commodity imports.

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Acting sustainably

  • Matters of sustainable development are of concern to all of us. The Sustainability Strategy Baden-Württemberg takes this into account. It is designed tocreate an understanding of sustainability which will include economic, ecologicaland social aspects equally. The most urgent subjects are first on the agenda: climate and energy, resources, and educating for sustainable development. Action programmes are being developed in these key areas to develop concrete ideas and solutions. Within this framework, asmany groups in society as possible will debate questions of a sustainable life style.

    Additionally, an advisory board for sustainable development was established which will counsel the state government; experts and citizens on the board will take the strategy to the next level. Every two years, there will be an indicator report which will make it possible toevaluate the progress of sustainable development in the state. With the aid of this tool, sustainability will become concrete,measurable, and verifiable.


Resource efficiency and environmental technology

  • Innovative environmental technologies protect natural resources and reduce the impact on the environment. The market for these technologies is growing – an important growth factor for the economy in Baden-Württemberg. To make the best use of this opportunity, the technology and innovation centre Environmental Technology and Resource Efficiency Baden-Württemberg (Technologie- und Innovationszentrum Umwelttechnik und Ressourceneffizienz Baden-Württemberg GmbH, or Umwelttechnik BW) was established. This state agency coordinates state activities, pools the expertise of the actors and provides a transfer between business and science.

    We also have an »Environmental Competency Atlas« on the Internet which provides additional detailed information about the business and research culture in Baden-Württemberg and the state’s performance in the areas of environmental technology and resource efficiency. This also becomes evident in the applications for the environmental technology prize of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which is endowed with 100.000 Euro. Environmental technology: a driving force in the economy of Baden-Württemberg.

Nature conservation

  • Nature conservation and our commitment towards the different kinds of flora and fauna form the core of our central social missions. We want to preserve what secures our natural necessities and we have therefore placed nature protection at the centre of our policies. Our strategy for the protection of nature includes a comprehensive, concrete and state-wide unique catalogue of measures which places biodiversity as a central mission since that affects everybody.

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International cooperation

  • Energy policy, protecting the environment and curbing climate change are challenges on a global scale. This is why international cooperation in Europe and beyond is so important to us. It is why we are represented in Brussels and organize regular events relating to current European topics. We promote cross-border projects with our neighbours France and Switzerland. As part of the EU Danube region strategy, we are enhancing ourrelations with countries in Southeast Europe by engaging in joint activities.

    Baden-Württemberg is also a member of several other platforms for cooperation, such as the Assembly of European Regions, the multilateral Four Motors for Europe, and the international network The Climate Group. We also support and advise applicants to the EU ERDF and LIFE+ funding programmes. Outside of Europe, we actively support Baden-Württemberg’s partnerships with Ontario (Canada) and Kanagawa ( Japan) and other regions.

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