Sufficiency policy measures to reduce emissions

Year after year, we humans exceed the planetary boundaries of the Earth. It is not only our consumption of natural resources that overburdens the regenerative capacity of natural systems, but also man-made damage to the environment. To counteract this, it is essential to consume as few raw materials and energy as possible and to reduce the destruction of natural systems. Sufficiency is a strategic approach that addresses this challenge. Unlike efficiency and consistency strategies, sufficiency directly targets the actual reduction of environmental consumption. To this end, it questions how and to what extent we satisfy our needs. It develops proposals on how raw material consumption and environmental pollution can be reduced by changing our current consumption behaviour. The project "More Quality of Life, Less Environmental Usage - Development of user-oriented sufficiency policy project drafts in the Environment Department" develops corresponding instruments of sufficiency policy in heat supply, regional development and air pollution control.
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More Quality of Life, Less Environmental Usage - Development of user-oriented sufficiency policy project drafts in the Environment Department
2020 - 2022
Federal Environment Agency

ZOE Institut für zukunftsfähige Ökonomien
Ecologic Institut gemeinnützige GmbH
IFEU Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung


The research partners Ecologic Institute, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) and IZT are working together under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Economies (ZOE) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency. The project builds on a previous pilot project and is characterized by agile, user-oriented project management. The aim of the continuation is to implement these three sufficiency policy project outlines developed in the first sub-project:

  • Understandable heating cost information as a key to consumption reduction.
  • Indicators of regional sustainability based on the sufficiency approach
  • Reduction of air pollutant emissions through sufficiency policy instruments.

The IZT focuses primarily on the third subproject of air pollution control. Initially, measures to reduce air pollutants will be developed, evaluated by experts and validated. On the basis of a criteria catalog, particularly promising reduction measures are selected and their reduction effect, the emitters addressed, their implementation and their acceptance by the population are presented in detail. The identified action concepts are also adapted to the further development of the National Clean Air Program (NLRP).

On the 50th anniversary of the Club of Rome's "Limits to Growth" study (1972), the results will be presented at a conference in the fall of 2022 as the project's conclusion.

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