Climate takes over as most pressing issue for majority of Germany’s city leaders – survey
Clean Energy Wire
City leaders in Germany have for the first time named the climate as the most pressing issue they are currently facing, according to a survey by the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu). The Difu’s annual OB-Barometer surveys mayors of German cities with populations of more than 50,000 people. Its 2022 survey found that, compared to last year, significantly more mayors rate climate as the most important current field of action for municipalities (61% in 2022). Cities are currently dealing with other major issues, such as pandemic response measures and the creation of affordable housing, but for the first time and by a wide margin, climate protection has now taken the top spot among the most important fields of action by almost two thirds of the cities. Mobility is likewise a major topic with regard to future planning, underscoring the importance that city leaders place on environmental issues. "If you consider that urban mobility is about developing solutions beyond motorized, CO2-emitting individual traffic, it becomes clear that mobility is a second climate issue at the top of the municipal agenda," said Difu director Carsten Kühl.
Many small and large German cities have announced their own climate action plans that cover a wide range of measures, with inner-city traffic, greater efficiency in buildings and the use of solar power on rooftops being among the most urgent measures envisaged by city governments. Skyrocketing energy costs have made renovating residential buildings to increase their energy efficiency more cost-effective than ever, according to a recent report.