Laws and Regulations in the Federal State of Berlin

The statutory framework for climate protection results from the interaction between international agreements and regulations adopted on European and national levels, as well as in Berlin. The Federal State of Berlin has anchored far-reaching climate policy targets in various regulations and ordinances.

The central aims are to save energy, increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energies. The intention is to use appropriate regulations and ordinances so as to make the climate protection targets achievable, controllable and capable of evaluation.

Climate-Neutral by 2050: Concept for a Berlin based energy-transition act

The concept of the energy-transition act concretizes the climate-protection goals as well as the instruments for their attainment, especially the integrated energy- and climate-protection policy. The draft law states that the state of Berlin has to be climate-neutral by 2050.

In order to attain this objective, the energy related carbon-emissions have to be reduced by at least 40% until 2020, by 60% until 2030 and by at least 85% until 2050, compared to the emission values in 1990.

“Roadmap” of energy- and climate-protection policy in Berlin

Which specific measures in which fields of action – for example energy-production and distribution, traffic, trade and retail and the public sector – these climate-protection goals should be attained is portrayed in an integrated energy- and climate-protection concept. The adaptation of this concept as a “Roadmap” for the energy and climate-protection policy in Berlin is specified as binding by the draft law. The concept will contain an action-plan and is going to be prepared with the involvement of the public. The basis for this will be the results of the feasibility study “Climate-Neutral Berlin 2050”.

Feasibility Study “Climate-Neutral Berlin 2050”

With the goal of becoming climate-neutral, Berlin and many other international megacities are raising awareness on the dangers of climate-change. Within the framework of a feasibility study, an assessment took place in order to determine whether Berlin can reach its goal to be climate-neutral by 2050 and also which conditions have to be met to accomplish this goal.

During the course of a 15 month long research project, an interdisciplinary project-consortium – under the lead of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) – pursued the question of how the cities carbon-emissions can be reduced significantly.

Not just practical- and policy-relevant modeled action fields were analyzed in a depth that has never been reached before, but also the inherent reduction potential regarding the carbon-emissions. With this analysis as a foundation, the development of the cities carbon-emissions was examined. In this examination the various framework conditions as well as two target scenarios for a climate-neutral city were taken into consideration. In the results were recommendations for strategies, measures and pilot projects in the central fields of activity presented: Energy Supply, Buildings and Urban Development, Economy, Private Households / Consumption as well as Transportation.

Berlin Public Tender and Procurement Act (BerlAVG)

The Berlin Public Tender and Procurement Act (BerlAVG) from 8 July 2010. With this law, extensive regulations on public procurement in Berlin and the principles which have to be complied with during public tendering processes have been established.

Doing so, not only were rules drawn up for observing ecological criteria and complying with humane conditions in the field of production, the commitment to fixed salaries in accordance with the German Employee Assignment Act was also emphasised.

Public Tender and Procurement Act (BerlAVG) Contains Rules on Environmentally Compatible Procurement.
Contracting parties are obliged to take into consideration ecological criteria when awarding contracts under public tender. When determining the services or products required, priority should be given to environmentally friendly and energy efficient products, materials and methods. Contracting parties must ensure in the context of supply, construction or service procurement contracts that they avoid negative environmental impacts to the greatest extent possible caused by the manufacturing, use and disposal of goods, as well as when performing services.


Administrative Regulation for Procurement and the Environment (VwVBU)

Green Public Procurement

The State of Berlin encouraged its public authorities to purchase more environmentally-friendly goods and services through Green Public Procurement. Therefore the Senate of Berlin has enacted administrative regulations for green public procurement in January 2013. Regular demand for eco-efficient products would motivate suppliers to offer more products and services that comply with modern quality and environmental requirements. This regulation implements the environmental requirements of the Berlin Public Tender and Procurement Act (AVG) into practice.

Berlin Nature Conservation Act (NatSchGBln)

The law on the conservation of nature and the maintenance of the countryside in Berlin.

Due to their own intrinsic value and as the basis of life for people, also in relation to the responsibility for the future generations, in both populated and unpopulated areas, the nature and the countryside are (...) to be protected, maintained, developed and restored to their original condition to the extent that this is required.


Tree Preservation Regulation (BaumSchVO)

The ordinance to protect the stock of trees in Berlin.

Because of their importance in securing the capabilities of the ecosystem, and especially in order to maintain the basis of life for wild animals, as well as to vitalise, structure and care for the cityscape and countryside, improve the urban climate and protect against harmful impacts, the stock of trees in Berlin is to be safeguarded as a protected component of its landscape in accordance with this ordinance.

Berlin Water Act (BWG)

As a component of the ecosystem, the bodies of water are to be managed in such a way that they serve the general good, also in that their uses by individuals are in harmony with this.

Likewise it should be ensured that avoidable adverse effects on their ecological functions and on the terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly dependent on them do not occur with respect to their water balance, and that through this sustainable development is guaranteed overall.

Berlin Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act (KrW-/AbfG Bln)

The purpose of this law is to promote a low waste recycling economy and to secure the environmentally compatible disposal of waste.

The aims of the closed substance cycle and waste management system are among others to avoid waste as such, as well as to avoid and reduce harmful substances in waste and to conserve the natural resources and support product stewardship – in the sense of the 1994 Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act – when developing, manufacturing, working and processing, as well as selling products. The intention is that each person should through their behaviour contribute to achieving the objectives of a recycling and waste management economy.