On 4 July 2019, the City Council of Bonn decided to support a resolution declaring a climate emergency. Bonn has thus joined other municipalities and affirmed that climate protection must have top priority in all municipal action. In recent months, the administration has therefore drawn up a catalogue of measures with the participation of all departments.
Mayor Ashok Sridharan: "The declaration of the climate emergency must now be quickly followed by action! We have therefore deliberately chosen an approach that enables us to take direct action: Many of the measures developed can be implemented directly by the city administration and thus make an additional contribution to climate protection and adaptation. But we must all be aware of the fact that this catalogue of measures does not yet provide an answer to how the City of Bonn can become climate-neutral by 2035! There is still a lot of work ahead of us."
Financial incentives for climate-friendly action are an important instrument in the entire portfolio of measures. For example, those who do without disposable materials at events or who want to install a PV system on their building or green the roof and facade will receive more support.
According to the administration's proposal, five million euros are to be included in the 2021/2022 budget as start-up financing for the projects presented. This will allow some of the proposed measures to be implemented straight away.
The current agenda comprises a total of approximately 150 individual projects, which can be assigned to the following six fields of action.
Photovoltaics in Bonn will be further expanded. The Bonn solar roof register already provides orientation for house owners as to whether their own building is suitable for the installation of a PV system. Building on this, the City wants to launch a consulting service to accompany interested parties from the initial information to the installation of the system. In addition, the "1000 Roofs Program" is intended to set up a financial support scheme offering a contribution of 1000 euros per subsidized PV system.
In areas where the city administration can exert influence, the installation of PV systems is to become obligatory for builders.
The City itself wants to set a good example and continue to systematically record the great potential of its own buildings. In the case of new municipal buildings, the installation of photovoltaic systems is generally prepared and - if possible - implemented in cooperation with the municipal utilities or energy co-operatives.
There are currently 63 installations on municipal buildings. In 2009 and 2016, PV systems with a capacity of 172,000 kilowatt hours per year (kWh/a) were already installed at the Duisdorf and Salierweg sewage treatment plants. At the Bad Godesberg wastewater treatment plant, a facility with a capacity of 75,000 kWh/a is currently being built.
Climate-friendly building and living
A forum with regular events for players in the housing and construction industry is intended to expand and institutionalize experience in climate protection and energy efficiency. A municipal campaign on the subject of environmentally friendly building materials is to be targeted at planners, architects and builders.
With the KfW-55 standard, very high energy efficiency standards that exceed the legal requirements already apply to new municipal buildings.
For its buildings, the City also wants to check whether certified sustainability standards (e.g. DGNB certification system) can be applied to both refurbished and new buildings.
The administration will develop a concept on how the City of Bonn group, including the municipal subsidiaries Bonnorange and Stadtwerke, can become climate-neutral by 2035. To achieve this, the emission of greenhouse gases must be drastically reduced and suitable compensation options must be created.
Business trips are to be organized in a more climate-friendly manner in the future. Local public transport has clear priority; air travel - especially within Germany - is to be avoided. The job ticket is to become cheaper, and the urban e-vehicle fleet is to be continuously expanded. The procurement of office equipment and uniforms is to be carried out according to climate- and resource-saving criteria. For many years now, the city administration has also been using recycled paper and has already been named one of the most recycling paper-friendly cities in Germany for ten times in a row.
The state of NRW approved the extensive "Emission-free city center" funding project in November 2019. Over the next three years, fast cycle paths will be expanded and mobile stations will be set up in the city center, which will spatially link various transport services such as public transport, car sharing and bicycle rental, thus facilitating the changeover between modes of transport. Additional e-charging stations and bicycle parking garages have also been planned.
As part of the "Lead City" pilot project, the "Jobwärts" initiative is currently establishing a company mobility management system for employers in the region.
Campaigns and communication
Organizers who are committed to sustainability should receive financial incentives - for example, to purchase green electricity or reduce the amount of disposable plastic. The City wants to set a good example with its own major events, such as Pützchens Markt or the Christmas market.
Various campaigns are also intended to encourage the population to rethink their attitudes: The proposals include a car-free day and artistic productions that draw attention to the progressing climate change. The urban climate action campaign is to be expanded and activities such as the city cycling initiative are to be continued.
The city administration will also continue setting trends in the areas of nutrition and organic farming.
In order to best respond to the unavoidable consequences of climate change, precautions must be taken now. "Mobile green rooms" with vertical greenery and a leafy roof are intended to improve the quality of life in the city center on hot days. In addition, financial incentives and advice should be offered to citizens who want to green their roofs and facades or sealed surfaces.
The climate analysis developed under the ZURES project and the planning information map based on it serve as an important basis in this context and provide information on how the increasing heat stress can be countered by urban planning measures.