Bavarian municipalities demand more funding, clear legislative framework to reach state’s 2040 net zero target
Cities and municipalities in the state of Bavaria have demanded more money from the state government for climate protection measures, according to a dpa report in Die Zeit. The state government aims to make Bavaria climate neutral by 2040 – five years earlier than the federal government’s target. “This is associated with an unprecedented transformation process, which must be implemented and mastered locally in the municipalities,” writes Markus Pannermayr, chairman of the Bayerischer Städtetag, an association of Bavarian cities and municipalities, in a letter to Bavarian president Markus Söder. Pannermayr highlighted a resolution passed last year that calls for a “consistent national concept” to achieve state and federal climate targets that lays out clear conditions for municipalities: including a legal and funding framework, expansion paths for renewable energy and the availability of alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, the conversion of gas networks, the banning of heating systems based on fossil fuels. “In order to master this gigantic task, constructive and trusting interaction between the state and municipal levels is required,” Pannermayr added in his letter, stressing that this is the only way to develop the necessary strength and speed to achieve climate neutrality in the short remaining time.
The municipalities, seen as the driving force behind the state’s stated climate protection goals, “need two essential prerequisites: freedom of design and action, and financial security,” Pannermayr writes, “and there is still a lot of room for improvement on both points." Replying to Pannermayr, the state government said it would provide a record sum of more than 11 billion euros to municipalities in 2023 and agreed that financial leeway was essential in achieving climate protection goals. As it seeks to achieve its ambitious goals, Bavaria is also making up lost ground in the rollout of renewables, particularly wind power.