Newsflash: Germany plans to halve raw material and energy consumption by 2020

The German Government has announced new plans to halve the 1990 or 1994 levels of energy and raw materials consumption by the year 2020 and double the percentage of renewable energy consumption by the year 2010.

Speaking in Berlin on December 19 at the presentation of a draft national sustainability strategy entitled “Prospects for Germany” Chancellery Minister of State Hans Martin Bury said: “With 21 indicators for sustainable development we are marking the path for a secure future for Germany in the 21st century.”

Bury went on to say that sustainability is “the main theme of reform policy for this government” and includes budget consolidation, tax reform, legislation on private pension plans, education, research, promotion of renewable energy, and a reorientation of agriculture.

The strategy is the German contribution to the Rio follow-up

conference being held in  Johannesburg in September 2002. The aim is to achieve a balance between the needs of the present generation and the prospects for future generations. According to Bury, sustainability is “more than the continuation of environmental policy by other means. Sustainability is a comprehensive strategy for

modernisation. It contains an enormous potential for innovation in industry, the environment, and society as a whole. We want to develop this potential.”

Bury called upon economic players and consumers to make sustainability their own cause: “Companies who invest or consumers who spend their money determine the future just as much as government does with its laws and programs. For this reason we need a societal consensus on the ideal of sustainability that is as broadly based as possible.”

The formulation of a national sustainability strategy is being accompanied by talks with major interest groups. People can submit their ideas and suggestions in an on-line forum for dialogue on sustainability.

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