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15 Sep 2021, 13:46
Kerstine Appunn

German government decides to buy “climate-friendly” in the future

German government procurement will become more climate-friendly as of January 2022, the cabinet has decided by adopting a new administrative regulation. The procurement regulation “AVV Klima” will apply a negative list of what not to buy, including for example disposable tableware and beverages in disposable packaging for events and in canteens, or outdoor heaters and air conditioning appliances that use certain cooling agents. This will apply to all federal agencies. Federal economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier said: "The federal government is setting a good example and will be purchasing in a climate-friendly way in the future […] the public sector can make a significant contribution to promoting innovative and climate-friendly products and technologies.” The federal government can make a big difference by altering its purchasing rules because of the large procurement volume which the OECD estimates to be 100 billion euros per year, Altmaier added.

The German public sector as a whole (including state governments and administrations) makes purchases worth around 500 billion euros a year “from pencils to buses for local public transport”, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) says. The Climate Action Law sets the target of the federal administration to become climate-neutral by 2030. This includes mainly activities such as construction and operation of buildings, mobility, business trips and commutes of employees, but also procurement, the government said when adopting a new catalogue of measures for a sustainable administration in August 2021. The AVV Klima acknowledges that buying climate-friendly will cost more in individual cases but these higher costs can also be “offset by lower life cycle costs of the procured service”.

The expanded AVV Klima includes requirements from the German Climate Action Law. In the future, in addition to energy efficiency considerations, a forecast of the greenhouse gas emissions caused during the entire life cycle must also be included in the procurement process as far as possible.

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