New sites: Northern Germany and Southwest Germany
In the spring of 2019, the climate-fit (klimafit) course was offered at 15 sites across Northern and Southwest Germany; for the first time, five federal states in Northern Germany were covered. The community colleges of the following seven cities took part: Bremen, Bremerhaven, Eckernförde, Emden, Greifswald, Hamburg and Rostock. For Northern Germany, cities and communities of various sizes and populations, all of which are connected to the coast and ocean through their geographic position, were selected. While Emden, Bremerhaven, Bremen and Hamburg are on the North Sea side of Germany, Eckernförde, Rostock and Greifswald all lie near the Baltic.
The sites in Southern Germany included five communities offering climate-fit (klimafit) for the second or third time, and three communities offering it for the first time. The course was offered for the first time in Bad Krozingen, Ettlingen and Freiburg; for the second time in Bad Säckingen, Bühl, Heidelberg and Offenburg; and for the third time in Emmendingen. Depending on the respective site, the courses began between February and March. The final class was a virtual evening session universally held on 29 April 2019 at all sites. Participants registered via their local community college, and each group was limited to 20 slots. The total fee for the six evening sessions was 20 euros per person. The sessions began at 6.00 pm and ended at 9.00 pm.
Course sites in 2019 – Northern Germany
Bremen was the second-largest city in Northern Germany to offer climate-fit (klimafit) and is home to over 568,000 citizens. The City of Bremen has set itself the goal of substantially reducing emissions, and of implementing climate adaptation strategies in order to sustainably safeguard its citizens’ living and working conditions. Accordingly, in 2009 Bremen developed a climate protection programme in which various measures and strategies for reducing CO2 were summarised. In 2011 Bremen’s Senate for the Environment, Construction and Transport became involved, and now supports the city in achieving its declared goals. Said goals were compiled in a revised climate protection programme, which entered into effect via the Bremen Climate Protection and Energy Act on 27 March 2015. At the community college in Bremen, eight people registered for the climate-fit (klimafit) course.
With a population of 120,000, Bremerhaven is located ca. 65 km from Bremen, at the mouth of the Weser River. In 2014 the Magistrate of the City of Bremerhaven prepared an integrated climate protection concept, which defined a variety of climate protection measures. One example is the expansion of wind and biogas energy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In Bremerhaven, the Climate City Office is responsible for municipal climate protection. Its long-term goal is to successfully integrate municipal, civil society, and corporate climate protection. In addition, Bremerhaven has adopted the motto ‘Climate City’ and is accordingly seeking to make the behaviour and activities of the city, its citizens, and companies more climate-friendly. In the form of a youth climate council, it is also seeking to motivate local youth to get involved in municipal climate protection and climate change adaptation. The climate-fit (klimafit) course, offered at the community college in Bremerhaven, gave 21 participants the chance to expand their climate expertise.
With a population of ca. 22,000, Eckernförde was the smallest community in Northern Germany to offer the climate-fit (klimafit) course. Located on the Baltic and roughly 30 km north of Kiel, Eckernförde – which intensively promotes natural conservation and has integrated it into city planning – was honoured for being especially environmentally friendly as far back as 1988. In 2015 the city rolled out a climate protection concept, which particularly focuses on CO2 emissions, the risks associated with rising sea levels, and measures to counteract these problems. To help implement the concept, a climate protection manager was also appointed. 20 participants attended the climate-fit (klimafit) course at the community college in Eckernförde.
Emden is home to roughly 50,000 citizens and has dedicated itself to pursuing active climate protection since 1997. Since 2011, it has had its own climate protection concept. The city is particularly active in the areas regenerative energies and reduced energy consumption; given its location, wind energy is especially important. In 2015 Emden was recognised as a Climate Community, and was subsequently integrated into the project ‘Master Plan for 100% Climate Protection’ in 2016. This facilitated the pursuit of goals like energy conservation, greenhouse-gas reduction, and expanded use of renewable energies, helping the city become a role model for neighbouring communities. 15 participants joined in the climate-fit (klimafit) course at the community college in Emden.
With a population of roughly 60,000, Greifswald was the easternmost city in Northern Germany to offer the climate-fit (klimafit) course. In 2008, Greifswald became a member of the Climate Protection Alliance, which officially recognises the existence of climate change and is pursuing the goal of reducing emission by 14% by 2020 in comparison to the levels in 2005. In 2010, the city rolled out a climate protection concept of its own. Further, since 2016 Greifswald has received support in pursuing its municipal climate protection goals through the project ‘Master Plan for 100% Climate Protection’. The climate-fit (klimafit) course, offered at the community college in Greifswald, attracted 16 local participants.
Home to 1.8 million residents, Hamburg was the largest climate-fit (klimafit) site in the second project phase. A pioneer in renewable energies, its goal is to be a climate-friendly and climate-adaptable city. Accordingly, between 2007 and 2012 Hamburg developed and successively expanded a climate protection concept. In 2011, the continuation of the concept was presented in compact form. The climate-fit (klimafit) course was held at the community college in Hamburg and gave 18 interested citizens the chance to expand their climate knowhow.
With ca. 200,000 residents, the Hanseatic city Rostock was the largest city on the Baltic to participate in the climate-fit (klimafit) project. As early as 1993, Rostock joined the Climate Protection Alliance. In 2005 it prepared its own climate protection concept, chiefly focusing on CO2 reduction and more efficient energy utilisation. The concept was approved by the local citizens in 2010. In 2008 a climate protection coordination office was founded in order to support the city’s energy transition. Rostock is also part of the project ‘Master Plan for 100% Climate Protection’, the main focus areas of which are the expansion of regenerative energies and measures to reduce traffic congestion. At the community college in Rostock, 21 local citizens received essential climate protection training as part of climate-fit (klimafit).
Course sites in 2019 – Southern Germany
Bad Krozingen is home to 21,000 residents, and consolidated its climate protection objectives in a climate protection concept in 2016. Based on a study conducted by the energy and environmental service provider badenova, the concept largely focuses on energy conservation and increased efficiency through the use of renewable energies. Issues concerning waste, wastewater and mobility are also addressed. Bad Krozingen actively encourages its citizens to engage in environmental protection, both in terms of energy production and consumption. At the community college in Bad Krozingen, the climate-fit (klimafit) course was attended by 16 interested residents.
With a population of ca. 17,000, Bad Säckingen is the smallest city offering the adult-education course climate-fit (klimafit). The city has an integrated climate protection concept, which has been supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) since December 2015. The climate-fit (klimafit) course was offered at the community college in Bad Säckingen, attracting 22 participants.
With a population of ca. 30,000, Bühl is also one of the smaller cities involved in the climate-fit (klimafit) project. The city has its own climate protection concept, which it prepared from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2017 in the context of the Federal Ministry of the Environment’s National Climate Initiative. 21 local citizens took part in the climate-fit (klimafit) course at the community college for the Rastatt region.
The city of Emmendingen enjoys a unique status: it was the site selected for the pilot study on climate-fit (klimafit) in the winter semester of 2016/2017; offered the course again in 2017/2018; and a third time in 2019.
To encourage citizens to assume a more active role in climate protection, the community college for Northern Breisgau offered the climate-fit (klimafit) course in Emmendingen, attracting 20 participants.
Home to 40,000 citizens, Ettlingen lies in northern Baden-Wurttemberg, roughly 10 km from Karlsruhe. In recent years it has introduced a variety of climate protection measures, from replacing the bulbs in its streetlights, to rolling out a comprehensive climate protection concept in 2010. Here the goal is not only to involve local citizens, but also local businesses in climate protection. For example, businesses can have their climate-friendly practices certified by the association of climate protection companies. The community college in Ettlingen offered 21 interested citizens the chance to expand their climate knowhow in the context of climate-fit (klimafit).
Freiburg has nearly 230,000 residents, making it the largest site in Southern Germany to offer climate-fit (klimafit). The city has set itself the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050, and actively pursuing climate protection. In addition, in 2018 the city renewed its climate protection concept from 2007. Encouraging citizens to submit their own ideas on how they could support climate protection, the community college in Freiburg gave 20 participants the chance to deepen their climate expertise via climate-fit (klimafit).
With regard to climate-fit (klimafit), Heidelberg, with ca. 150,000 residents, was the second-largest city in Southern Germany to offer the course. The city began tackling climate change and climate protection early on, and already had an initial municipal climate protection concept in place in 1992; it was subsequently revised and continued in an updated form in 2004. 18 local citizens registered at the community college in Heidelberg.
Offenburg has roughly 60,000 residents and has had an integrated climate protection concept in place since 2012, providing a framework for the city’s subsequent climate protection activities. Adapting to climate change is one of the fields of action reflected in the concept. The climate-fit (klimafit) course was also offered at the community college in Offenburg, and 17 citizens took part.