More quality of life, less environmental consumption

User-oriented development of sufficiency policy project outlines in the environment ministry

The political goals for achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045 are clearly formulated in Germany. Already by 2030, emissions are to be reduced by 65 per cent compared to 1990. So far, political strategies have focused in particular on efficiency and consistency strategies. Better technologies are supposed to reduce resource consumption and emissions, and a switch to renewable energies or renewable raw materials is supposed to reduce the burden on nature and the environment. What is missing is the sufficiency strategy to achieve greenhouse gas reductions sufficiently quickly and to reduce the currently very high resource consumption. Furthermore, sufficiency measures can act as a link between the social and the ecological issue by addressing these two urgent aspects together.

The ZOE Institute accompanies the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in the question “How can the UBA promote sufficiency policies?”.  Building on a co-creative process that ZOE has facilitated in a previous phase, the project outlines developed therein are now being implemented.

The project “More Quality of Life, Less Environmental Consumption – User-Oriented Development of Sufficiency Policy Project Outlines in the Environment Ministry” consists of four work packages, each of which develops sufficiency measures in different areas. The work packages are implemented together with the respective units of the Federal Environment Agency involved and supported by agile project management through ZOE.

Work package 1: Understandable heating cost information as the key to reducing consumption (HeizInfo) 

From 1 January 2022, a new heating cost regulation will apply. Building owners and tenants who have already installed remote-reading meters will now be informed monthly about their energy consumption for heating and hot water. In order that the heating cost information can set impulses in the direction of energy-saving everyday behaviour among consumers, a guideline for the preparation and presentation of the information was developed.

These guidelines can be downloaded here.

Work package 2: Indicators of regional sustainability based on the sufficiency approach (IReNaS) 

This work package aims to integrate the sufficiency perspective into concepts for the development of sustainable urban-rural relations and for the sustainable development of regions and urban-rural partnerships. The focus here is on the 22 collaborative projects from the FONA funding priority Urban-Rural-Plus (SLP), which are currently being funded by the BMBF. The aim is to develop a list of sufficiency policy and strategy goals, including the corresponding indicators, in a joint process with the collaborative projects.

Work Package 3: Reduction of Emissions of Air Pollutants through Sufficiency Policy Instruments (PoliSLuft) 

The aim is to develop sufficiency policy measures and instruments to reduce emissions. This is to support the UBA in the further development of the National Clean Air Programme (NLRP). In addition, the results of the work are to advance the European debate on the further development of national air pollution control plans. In addition, UBA should be able to present the findings of the Geneva Air Quality Convention (WGSR) in the course of the Working Group on Strategies and Review.

Work package 4: Workshop 

A workshop will contribute to the development of a research agenda aimed at liberating social and political stability from the need for continued economic growth.





 The project outlines were developed in this process, which are now being implemented


Project partner