Freiburg, in the south west of Germany, is one of the birthplaces of the German environmental movement. In Freiburg, the movement began back in the 1970s with the successful action against the Wyhl nuclear power plant: one of the foundations of the alternative-Green movement.
Find more Green Cities here!
KEY FACTS ABOUT FREIBURG
Nowadays, while other regions are pushing back on their energy and climate goals, Freiburg is becoming increasingly ambitious. In 2007 the Municipal Council decided to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. This target was updated in 2014 to 50% less CO2 emissions by 2030 and 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2050. To achieve the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050, the city has launched a large number of initiatives focused on construction, energy, private households, transport, forestation, nature conservation, waste management and tourism.
Freiburg’s citizens are some of the main drivers of the local energy transition. A great example is the award-winning project “200 families active for the climate.” The households that participated in this project aimed to reduce their environmental footprint in consumption, transport and energy. Instead of decreeing what the families could improve on, the city invited the families to events and offered in-house consultations with experts to discuss concrete ideas about how to act in a more climate-friendly way, even saving money in the process (for example, by switching off electronic devices instead of leaving them in standby mode to reduce electricity bills). The participating families were also challenged to only consume groceries that were produced within 50km of Freiburg. At the end of the project many of the 200 families reported that this experience has changed their awareness, and that they wanted to change their habits some areas of their daily life.
The Mayor of Freiburg, Dr Dieter Salomon, describes the city’s approach to sustainability as follows:
For me the label 'Green City’ stands for future-oriented development through sustainable policies and a sustainable economy that aims for social justice; climate and environmental protection; viable culture, housing and working; and solid finances.