“In Germany, we want to define an emissions reduction pathway with a final target of 80 to 95 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 by 2050. We will augment this target with concrete measures, drawn up through a broad dialogue (Climate Action Plan).” This sentence from the German government’s coalition agreement formed the basis of IFOK’s work to implement a broad participatory process for a climate and energy plan on behalf of the German Ministry of Environment (BMUB).
For Germany to reach its goals in GHG emission reductions, the German federal government developed a national climate action plan. A participatory process was designed to actively engage federal states, municipalities, associations and the broader public in developing the plan, and their contributions formed the core building blocks of the resulting Climate Action Plan 2050 (a translation is available here in English).
IFOK designed and led the implementation of the overall participatory process, beginning with an opening event in June 2015. Subsequently, key stakeholder groups were actively engaged alongside the broader public to develop concrete implementation measures for climate change mitigation, all oriented around robust strategies and transformative pathways. Representatives from federal states, municipalities, businesses, non-profits, as well as the broader public actively contributed through a host of targeted formats.
The first phase of dialogue included a series of forums for target groups, public participation events, and an open online platform for participation. This robust participatory process resulted in 400 draft implementation measures within five climate action areas: energy sector; buildings; industry and commerce/trade/services; transportation; agriculture/land use.
Results from the first round of dialogue were further consolidated, reviewed and developed within a committee session of elected delegates, as well as stakeholder working groups for each climate action area. A round of informational events for federal departments kept federal departments and members of parliament informed and gathered their feedback.
A second phase of dialogue for stakeholders and the broader public gathered further feedback and recommendations for implementation. A third committee session of elected delegates allowed for final discussions and recommendations, and a hand-off of the results to Federal Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks.
The participatory process resulted in a comprehensive, thorough catalogue of 97 implementation measures that fed into the draft climate action plan. A video of the whole process (in German with English subtitles) can be seen here. The German Federal Cabinet adopted the Climate Action Plan 2050 in November 2016, demonstrating the benefits of broad participation in climate and energy policy. In the words of the Federal Minister of Environment Hendricks:
“Dialogue opens new perspectives. What we learned in the participation process helped us to develop the Climate Action Plan. We will leverage this wealth of experience in developing our future climate policy.”