Climate Emergency in Leipzig

Climate Emergency in Leipzig – Emergency programme promotes urban climate action

On 30 October 2019, the Leipzig City Council declared a climate emergency and thus renewed its commitment to responsible local action against global climate change. Despite many years of climate protection efforts, per capita greenhouse gas emissions had not declined enough. The city therefore took action in summer 2020 with a climate emergency action programme – a milestone in Leipzig’s energy and climate action work.

“With the current emergency programme we have now implemented one of the central aspects of this [climate emergency] resolution. It addresses essential and effective elements of climate protection that can be implemented at the municipal level with the resources available“, asserts Heiko Rosenthal, Mayor and Member of Parliament for Environment, Climate, Order and Sport with regard to the newly published programme.

Climate action is a cross-cutting task. The emergency programme, developed in a comprehensive inter-agency and interdepartmental process, also emphasises this aspect. Its 24 measures are divided into seven fields of action:

  • Climate-friendly urban development and urban land use planning
  • City administration – municipal buildings and facilities & internal organisa-tion
  • Power and heat supply & waste disposal
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Communication & cooperation
  • Nutrition & consumption
  • Climate change adaptation

The concrete measures range from rainwater management and deep retrofit concepts to the construction of solar systems and electric charging stations, organic lunches for day-care centres and schools as well as floodplain development. All measures have been evaluated in terms of their total costs as well as the potential and onset of their impacts. The programme will be financed with a total of more than €20 million from the city budget and the Leipzig Group’s associated companies.

In order to further promote climate action in the city, Leipzig also plans to regu-larly inform the public about the status of implementation, for example, in the context of climate policy sessions. In addition, an independent department for sustainable development and climate action will be established. The continuation of the energy and climate protection programme through 2030 with primarily medium-term measures will additionally support Leipzig’s climate action efforts.

Leipzig demonstrates what the declaration of a climate emergency can do. Since the passing of the resolution last year, the city has set new priorities in its energy and climate protection work and has initiated many measures. In doing so, Leipzig has always taken an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental approach. The city is tackling the climate emergency with tangible steps to raise awareness among the public and the city administration while promoting local climate action.

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written October 2020

Photo: Unsplash