Promoting the initiative “Climate Change from Below” – Umweltinstitut München e.V.


Facing obstacles at the federal level with regard to environmental protection or when bureaucratic hurdles serve as blockers, citizens can launch successful campaigns at a municipal level. According structures and preconditions do exist. Unfortunately, complicated and lengthy procedures are often problematic.

For this reason, the Umweltinstitut München has developed a user-friendly manual to simplify the implementation of successful citizen petitions for municipal climate protection. An impressive 15,000 copies have already been handed out to citizens.

Initial successes are, for example:

  • Munich: Reducing the annual capacity of coal combustion from 800,000 to 350,000 tonnes
  • Kassel: The municipal coal-fired power plant will be shut down in 2025 instead of 2030
  • Braunschweig: Expansion of the cycling infrastructure

Click here for all successes of the campaign.

We also recommend the interactive page, which provides information on climate change campaigns that are active or have already been carried out throughout Germany.

For active campaigns, contact details and the possibility to participate are provided. Interested parties are advised by “Klimawende von unten” and initiators of promising campaigns are accompanied in the process. Long-term advice serves as the key to sustainable success of the campaigns.

So far, the focus of campaign initiation and consultation has been on locations with municipal coal-fired power plants and heating grids, the majority of which are owned by municipalities. Another approach at the municipal level is the promotion of solar energy, which can lead to emission reductions that happen comparatively quickly and efficiently.

With a donation of 10,000 euros, we are helping “Klimawende von unten” in this project. This will make it possible to finance a necessary legal opinion on the preparation of model citizens’ petitions for the municipal expansion of solar energy.

The successes already achieved by the campaign speak for themselves. We are convinced that there is great potential in municipal citizens’ petitions. With the implementation of online consultation and online seminars, the offer can also be guaranteed during the Corona pandemic.

Difficulties for citizens' initiatives to be launched at the municipal level
Preparation of a manual for the implementation of successful citizens' petitions at the municipal level by Umweltinstitut e.V.
Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony
Umweltinstitut München e.V.
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