Policy Initiatives

Berlin's climate protection policy aims to build upon and support the opportunities for active climate protection. In addition, the intention is to establish optimal conditions so as to boost the economic potentials for the efficient application of energy, increase the usage of renewable energies and promote research and development in these areas. The activities by the city state are directed at a wide spectrum of public and private institutions, companies and organisations, as well as its residents.

Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Programme (BEK)

Berlin is to become climate neutral. That is the goal which the governing coalition in Berlin agreed in 2011.

It emerged clearly from the 2014 feasibility study “Climate-Neutral Berlin 2050” that the capital city can indeed achieve this goal. It is now a matter of translating theory into practice. To accomplish this, the Berlin Senate is drawing up a Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Programme (BEK).

Brochure (english; pdf; 4.9 MB)

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.

Urban Development Concept Berlin 2030 (StEK 2030)

Berlin is growing, the economy is well positioned and the population number is rising. The aim is to systematically make use of this growth to enable a qualitative and sustainable development of Berlin. In order to achieve this there is a need for a perspective that will guide the urban development towards this goal. The goal is to make Berlin more economically stable, socially more attractive and countervailing as well as more recognizable on an international level.

Based on the guidelines of the governmental policy, and in cooperation with additional departments of the Senate, an urban development concept (StEK 2030) has been developed which is to be used as a guiding principal for citywide urban development strategies in Berlin. 

Further Information

Urban development plan in regards to climate (StEP Klima)

The Urban Development Plan (StEP Klima) provides a clear orientation-framework for the cities spatial planning as a whole, in order to overcome the adaptation of the climate-change. The plan therefore fits into the work-program of the Berlin Senate in regards to the climate policy.

The concept is concentrated on the four spatial fields of action:

  • Bio-climate in urban areas
  • Open spaces and green-areas
  • Quality of water and torrential rain
  • Climate protection

» Further information (in German)

Urban Development Plan: Transport & traffic (StEP Verkehr)

Berlin has a complex and high performance transport system at its disposal. In order to ensure than the conditions in the public, private and commercial transport sectors are able to fulfil the various demands placed on them in the long run, long-term strategic and integrated planning is required.

The instrument with which this is achieved in Berlin is its Urban Development Plan: Transport & traffic. Visions for urban transport in the future have been developed in it and converted into concrete aims which should be achieved through various measures. The implementation of the measures occurs by means of various programmes or strategies focusing on specific themes (e.g. bicycle traffic strategy, pedestrian flow strategy, integrated commercial transport concept), as well as via the local transport plan for public transportation.

Berlin Climate Alliance

Global climate change is happening right now. And the main cause of it is the greenhouse effect caused by humans. Already today the impacts of global climate change can be felt.

The requirement now is to avoid the worst effects of climate change and reduce the global COemissions. By now, increasing numbers of companies are prepared to contribute their share to climate protection by improving their energy efficiency, applying modern technologies and implementing further savings programmes. The Berlin Climate Alliance utilises this corporate sense of responsibility, with the intention of actively supporting the Berlin Senate in achieving its climate protection aims.

Berlin Climate Protection Agreements of the Federal State

Sustainable climate protection can only be achieved with the help of innovations, new technologies and high-tech solutions. Thus, the investment decisions and economic activities here have to be in line with ecological considerations and climate compatibility requirements.

This challenge offers Berlin the opportunity to achieve broad-based economic development. Thus, an essential element of Berlin's climate protection policy is to win over companies and associations in Berlin as active climate protection partners. When they sign climate protection agreements with the Federal State (Land) of Berlin, the individual partners – such as major Berlin-based utilities and housing industry associations and companies – commit themselves to binding mutual obligations in the context of their climate protection partnerships.

Energy Saving Partnerships

The Energy Saving Partnership developed by the Berlin Energy Agency and the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection is a role model for so-called energy performance contracting in the public sector. The aim is to tap into the energy saving potentials already available in individual buildings or blocks of built real estate consisting of various properties.

The investments required for this are effected by a private energy service provider – the contractor – and are refinanced via the savings achieved in energy costs. Public authorities can combine a selection of their stock of buildings into a pool here. In Berlin, these are city halls, schools, swimming pools, children's child care facilities, or administrative and service buildings for instance, including Berlin's main Rotes Rathaus city hall, Berlin's public swimming pool operations and the Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house.

Air Pollution Control and Action Plan

The Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection produced an air pollution control and action plan for the Federal State (Land) of Berlin which was adopted by the Berlin Senate in 2005.

In order to reduce the health risks from airborne pollutants, strict air quality thresholds were passed by the European Community in 1999 and were adopted into German law on schedule in 2002. Berlin qualifies as a densely populated urban area in which the air quality has to be assessed annually. In this respect, the submission of an annual assessment of the air quality with an accompanying report to the EU Commission is obligatory. The complete area covered by the city state is stipulated as the planning area for the air pollution control plan.

Berliner ImpulsE – Bundling Know-how, Saving Energy

The Berlin Senate administrative authority established the Berliner ImpulsE programme in 1995 in order to promote more energy efficiency in Berlin and Brandenburg and to mobilise the residents of Berlin for the initiative.

Berliner ImpulsE provides information about energy saving potentials and the effective measures to achieve these, as well as about the support services available. In this regard, the knowledge should not only create acceptance for the changes required when using energy. It should also provide an impulse to actively reduce energy consumption in households, offices and the retail sector, as well as in the production and mobility fields. The Berliner ImpulsE programme contains a wide range of differing products and options.

Berlin-Brandenburg Energy Technology Cluster

Berlin and Brandenburg are buzzing with energy. Approximately 500 companies with almost 50,000 employees, as well as more than 30 research facilities, universities and third level institutes have committed themselves to this area – with many of them counted among the best in their field.

In order to support and further advance the pan-regional innovation processes in the future field of energy technology, the German Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg have established the Berlin-Brandenburg Energy Technology Cluster. A team of specialists have pooled the competencies in the German capital and surrounding region and created a network of experts from the business world, the field of science and the public sector. This has strengthened the added value and the international competitiveness of the industry.

Nature and Green

Berlin is especially – green! Green areas and waterways account for 40 percent of Berlin's municipal area. There are hardly any other major cities with such extensive recreational spaces at their disposal.

The more than 2,500 green and recreational areas open to the public  cover an area of approximately 6,400 hectares. In order to also promote Berlin's green development in the context of planning its future urban spaces, Berlin's landscape programme was established a good 30 years ago so as to secure healthy surroundings for the city dwellers. One focus in this regard is to interconnect the green areas in order to achieve a balanced impact on the city's climate.