European Sufficiency Policy Database – Additional information

Here you can find additional information on the policies, measures and instruments presented in the Sufficiency Policy Database.


Policy strategy: Reduce living space

Measure / action: Sufficiency-oriented moving and living

Policy Instrument ID 28: Moving bonus

Description: Moving bonus in case of switching from a bigger to a smaller flat (size/living space must be regional average or below)

Implementation Example: The city of Frankfurt am Main already offers a moving bonus when moving out of a social housing flat, provided that the current flat is too large and the new flat is smaller.

Source: German Zero: See info sheet on the flat exchange premium programme: “FRANKFURT.DE – DAS OFFIZIELLE STADTPORTAL, Umzugsprämie. Stadt Frankfurt am Main. (from German Zero 2021, p. 367).

Policy strategy: Using existing buildings for living space

Measure / action: Use of vacant buildings

Policy Instrument ID 31: Monitoring vacancies

Description: Control of sub-leasing of a flat for tourist purpose by living space protection numbers (permanent rule)

Implementation Example: In almost all of Germany’s federal states, laws on the alienation of housing (Zweckentfremdungsgesetz) have been enacted to enable municipalities to prevent vacancies, demolitions, conversion to commercial use, tourism accommodation and structural alterations that prevent the use of housing.

Source: German Zero 2021, p. 369.

Measure / action: Protect existing buildings and living space

Policy Instrument ID 33: Protection of living space by control numbers

Description: Control of sub-leasing of a flat for tourist purpose by living space protection numbers (permanent rule)

Implementation Example: In order to avoid latent vacancies, the letting of a flat as a holiday home should only be allowed if the landlords provide a housing protection number. This makes it easier for the municipalities to enforce the law and is already being implemented unbureaucratically in Hamburg, for example.

Source: Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen Hamburg. (from German Zero 2021, p. 369).

Measure / action: Vertical densification

Policy Instrument ID 70: Reduce approval requirements for house-top story addition

Description: Facilitate house-top storey addition for new living space by less approval requirements – e.g no approval procedure is necessary, there is not requirement to include a lift etc.

Co-effects: A study by the TU Darmstadt found that the addition of more storeys to residential and non-residential buildings has a potential of 2.3 million flats.

Source: TU Darmstadt/Pestel Institut, Deutschlandstudie 2019. “Wohnraumpotenziale in urbanen Lagen”, p. 67. (from German Zero 2021, p. 380).

Policy strategy: Sustainable urban- and settlement development without new sealing

Measure / action: Support inner-city green areas

Policy Instrument ID 80: Determine green area factor for city planning

Description: For city planning, a certain factor has to be met, e.g. average green volume (m3) per area (m2). This is a supportive measure for high-quality inner-city living preventing urban sprawl.


Inner-city green spaces not only act as CO2 sinks, but can also provide protection when cities heat up even more in summer in the future as a result of climate change: 1 m³/m² of additional green volume leads to a reduction of about 0.3 °C.

Source: “Tervooren, Verification of vegetation in regard of greenvolume as potential for climate-adaption -Using the example of the state-capital Potsdam”, p. 74. (from German Zero 2021, p. 386).

Green spaces provide better air quality because they filter fine dust from the air.

Source:Gith, Saubere Atemluft – Forscher empfehlen Grünflächen auszubauen“. (from German Zero 2021, p. 386).

Planting directly binds CO2, but also reduces the energy required for heating and cooling. In summer, evaporative cooling and shading reduce the need for cooling.

Sources: Technische Universität Darmstadt: Gutachten Fassadenbegrünung, p. 13.

Pfoser, Fassade und Pflanze: “Potenziale einer neuen Fassadengestaltung”, p.74 f. (from German Zero 2021, p. 387).

Another positive effect is the protection of the building fabric from environmental impacts. Building greening dampens noise, improves air quality and lowers the ambient temperature.

Source: Pfoser, Fassade und Pflanze: “Potenziale einer neuen Fassadengestaltung”, 92 ff. (from German Zero 2021, p. 386).

Greening buildings can contribute to the preservation of biodiversity in cities.

Source: Pfoser, Fassade und Pflanze: “Potenziale einer neuen Fassadengestaltung”, p. 97. (from German Zero 2021, p. 387).

Implementation Example: The practice of stipulating green roofs in development plans since the mid-1990s, together with the Open Space Design Statutes of 1996, which stipulate green roofs on garage roofs and gravel press roofs of 100 m2 or more, has led to a situation in Munich where the total area of green roofs is very high compared to other cities.

Source: Deutscher Dachgärtner Verband e.V.: “Fernerkundliche Identifizierung von Vegetationsflächen auf Dächern zur Entwicklung des für die Bereiche des Stadtklimas, der Stadtentwässerung und des Artenschutzes aktivierbaren Flächenpotenzials in den Städten”, p. 35. (from German Zero 2021, p. 387).

Policy strategy: Limits to Consumption

Measure / action: Disincentivise high energy consumption

Policy Instrument ID 140: Force energy suppliers to provie individuals with comparisons with their peers’ energy use

Description: The EU member states could regulate that energy suppliers must add information on comparative energy demands for heating and electricity on bills for households and businesses. Thus, energy customers can compare whether their energy consumption tends to be too high.

Quantification: providing individuals with comparisons with their peers’ energy use can reduce the energy use by 11,5% on average.

Source: Bertoldi, P. (2017): Are current policies promoting a change in behaviour, conservation and sufficiency?.

Industry / Production

Policy strategy: Increase durability of products

Measure / action: Larger market share of repaired and durable products

Policy Instrument ID 153: No choice between repair vs. new product

Description: Not the consumer, but the producer decides whether a product can be repaired or needs to replaced.

Other additional information: Washing machines would have to be used for at least 17-23 years and tumble dryers 11-18 years, even taking into account the efficiency improvements of newer appliances, in order to compensate for the GHG emissions of production, distribution and recycling. Smartphones would even have to be used for up to 232 years, as not only are additional resources consumed, but newer devices also consume more energy.

Source: Zuloaga et al: “Cool products don´t cost the earth”. (from German Zero 2021, p. 144).

Policy Instrument ID 155: Regulate repairability of products

Description: Standards for reparability for several products (adjust Eco-Design-Directive), Products have to be designed in such a way that they can be repaired easily. A minimum requiry could be that products can be disassemble and reassembled in a non-destructive way and without special tools.

Quantification: If the lifespan of all washing machines, notebooks, hoovers and smartphones within the EU were extended by one year, around 4 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved.

Source: Calculations by German Zero based on: Zuloaga et al: “Cool products don´t cost the earth”, p. 5. (from German Zero 2021, p. 140).

Measure / action: Enable customers to repair products

Policy instrument ID 161: Repair bonus

Description: 50% of the costs for repair up to 100 Euro are subsidiesed

Quantification: With the “Vienna repair voucher”, 50% of the costs for a repair are covered up to an amount of EUR 100. The amount is deducted directly from the bill for the repair. Within the first campaign period from 21 September to 14 December 2020, around 8000 items were repaired with a repair voucher. This saved around 190 tonnes of CO2.

Source: Calculations by German Zero based on: Stadt Wien, Förderprogramm: “Wien repariert´s – Der Wiener Reparatur-bon”. (from German Zero 2021, p. 143).

Implementation Example: A repair bonus is existing in the German federal state of Thuringia and in Austria

Sources: /

Policy strategy: Exnovation

Measure / action: Phase-out of environmentally harming materials

Policy instrument ID 164: Ban microplastics

Description: European ban on added microplastics in all products

Implementation Example: In Spain, added microplastics in cosmetics and detergents will be banned from July 2021.

Source: Wandler: Spanien geht gegen Plastikmüll vor.!5690428. (from German Zero 2021, p. 150).

Implementation Example: In Sweden, microplastics have been banned in “rinse-off” cosmetic products since 2018. In France, microplastics in exfoliating and cleaning products have also been banned since 2018.

Source: Fraunhofer Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik: “Mikroplastik und synthetische Polymere in Kosmetikprodukten sowie Wasch-, Putz und Reinigungsmitteln”, p. 62 ff. (aus German Zero 2021, p. 150).

Policy strategy: Strengthen regional economies

Quantification: a local and sharing service economy can reduce up to 18% of the European carbon footprint compared to the baseline (2007)

Source: Vita et al. 2019.

Land-use and food

Policy strategy: Increase regional food production and processing

Implementation examples: A huge urban farm with a community garden was established in Paris in 2020.


Policy strategy: Reduction of live stock

Measure / action: Diet shift


When 50% of Europeans eat meat only once per week and have a roughly 70% lower dairy consumption this would reduce GHG emissions in 2050 by 73 Mt which equals 16% of emissions from agriculture

Source: McKinsey 2020.

A vegan / vegetarian diet reduces the GHG emissions of the European footprint by 13.9% / 9% (compared to 2007) and reduces the land footprint by 4.7% / 0.6%

Source: Vita et al. 2019.

A switch to animal-free protein sources such as soy, lentils, other pulses and meat substitute products reduces global GHG emissions by 18-87% (central value 40%)

Source: Creutzig et al. 2022.

Policy instrument ID 1: Animal protein tax

Description: Meat tax or animal protein tax

Co-effects: If animal products would be taxed with the regular (instead of reduced) VAT rate of 19% (instead of 7%) in Germany, this would generate 5 billion € additional tax revenue.

Source: UBA 2016.

Policy instrument ID 5: Action plan on mass catering

Description: action plan on mass catering to increase the offer of vegetarian and vegan dishes e.g. in cantines, care institutions etc

Quantification: A 50% reduction of meat dishes in public mass catering saves 0,43 million tonnes of GHG / year (range: 0,2-0,92 Mt GHG).

Source: UBA 2022.

Measure / action: Reduction of animal farming and export of animal products

Policy Instrument ID 13: EU wide emission trading for animal products and mineral fertilizer

Description: Emission trading for animal products and mineral fertilizer including cap and stepwise reduction

Quantification: Emissions trading for the production of animal products and the application of mineral fertilisers and the spreading of mineral fertilisers, the emissions trading system sets incentives to reduce approx. 80 % of the emissions (emissions attributable to agriculture in the EU according to the IPCC).

Source: Calculations by German Zero based on: EU (2020): “2020 National Inventory Report (NIR)”, p. 562. (from German Zero 2021, p. 408).

Policy strategy: Reduction of food waste and overconsumption

Measure / action: Reduction of food waste

Quantification: A reduction of food waste globally leads to a 8-25% reduction of GHG emissions (central value 15%).

Source: Creutzig et al. 2022.

Measure / action: Reduction of the consumption of climate harmful food and drinks

Policy instrument ID 24: marketing ban of climate harmful foods and drinks

Description: Ban of advertisement of climate harmful foods and drinks.


When 50% of Europeans eat meat only once per week and have a roughly 70% lower dairy consumption this would reduce GHG emissions in 2050 by 73 Mt which equals 16% of emissions from agriculture.

Source: McKinsey 2020.

A vegan / vegetarian diet reduces the GHG emissions of the European footprint by 13.9% / 9% (compared to 2007) and reduces the land footprint by 4.7% / 0.6%.

Source: Vita et al. 2019.

A switch to animal-free protein sources such as soy, lentils, other pulses and meat substitute products reduces global GHG emissions by 18-87% (central value 40%).

Source: Creutzig et al. 2022.

Implementation examples: In the UK, a total online advertising restriction for products high in fat, sugar and salt is about to be implemented.

Source: UK Government.

Transport (incl. freight)

Policy strategy: Reduce trips: work

Measure / action: Reduce commuting trips

Policy Instrument ID 192: Right to Work from Home

Description: New regulatory framework for 50% of working time is free to choose between office and home office, orientation at FI Working Time Act. Including regulation for breaks and rest, securing leisure times.

Quantification: “Arbeiten nach Corona – Warum Homeoffice gut fürs Klima ist”, p. 7, estimates the CO2 savings potential in a conservative scenario of 25% teleworking share with two additional home office days per week at 3.2 million t CO2 per year; in the case of an increase to 40% even to 5.4 million t CO2 per year (p. 14).

Borderstep Institut (2021): “Klimaschutzpotenziale der Nutzung von Videokonferenzen und Homeoffice – Ergebnisse einer repräsentativen Befragung von Geschäftsreisenden”, p. 6, estimate the savings potential through videoconferencing at 3 million t CO2/year and the reduction potential through home office at 1.5 t CO2/year.

The Wuppertal Institute assumes a saving of 5% of transport expenditure if 30% of employees worked in a home office every second working day.

Source: cf. Wuppertal Institute (2020): “CO2-neutral by 2035: Key points of a German contribution to compliance with the 1.5°C limit”, p. 79.

Source: Calculations by German Zero based on: IZT (2020). (from German Zero 2021, p. 209).

Policy Instrument ID 232: Mandatory company mobility management

Description: Mandatory mobility management for companies & public administration with 200/300+ employees. Includes mobility data collection, action plan with targets and responsibilities.

Implementation Example: Following the example of Italy and Brussels, larger companies (Brussels: from 200 employees, Italy from 300 employees in cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants) should be legally obliged to establish mobility management. This would require both an inventory of current mobility data and the derivation of an action plan with the definition of goals and responsible persons. This obligation would contribute to institutionalising mobility management nationwide.

Source: For international comparison: ILS NRW (2007): “Weiterentwicklung von Produkten, Prozessen und Rahmenbedingungen des betrieblichen Mobilitätsmanagements durch eine stärkere Systematisierung, Differenzierung und Standardisierung”, p. 47ff. (from German Zero 2021, p. 215).

Policy strategy: Reduce motorized individual transport

Measure / action: Reduce parking in public place

Policy Instrument ID 206: Residents parking fee increase

Description: Increase of parking fees for local residents, ideally in the federal “Gebührenordnung für Maßnahmen im Straßenverkehr”, with a minimum tariff and local variability. Proposed minimum tariffs are doubling the current tariffs; SUVs/heavy vehicles should pay more. Socially-just design: graduation of rates based on income.

Implementation Example: Until this year, there was a nationwide regulation that a resident parking permit in Germany may not cost more than 30.70 EUR per year. By comparison, such a permit would cost 827 EUR in Stockholm, 535 EUR in Amsterdam and 258 francs [approx. 240 EUR] in Basel.

Source: Ferber: “Parkausweise für Anwohner werden deutlich teurer”. (Stand. 12.09.2020). (from German Zero 2021, p.232).

Implementation Example: The city of Tübingen increased the resident parking fees times 4-6. SUVs now need to pay more than smaller / lighter cars.


Co-Efffects: Increase of resident parking fees times 4-6 in Tübingen (SUVs to pay more) will lead to additional revenues of 576.000 Euro (6.400 allowanes).


Measure / action: Infrastructure investment shift to public transport

Policy Instrument ID 211: Legal basis for infrastructure needs planning (national)

Description: Missing legal standards for BVWP, that defines as annex to FStrAbG the network expansion plans. Incl. barriers to road network expansion through CBA and no-better-alternative clause. Requires a reform to the legal basis for road expansion needs planning and respective implementation in the national transport planning (“Bundesverkehrswegeplan”), including application of transparent CBA. As well, departmental road laws need to be reformed accordingly.

Implementation Example: In this context, it would also be important to improve public participation in demand planning, following the French example: a model for good participation is the “Commission Nationale du débat public” (CNDP) in France. Road projects with a length of more than 40 km or costs of more than 300 million euros must be subjected to mandatory public debate.

For further information see: BUND (2018:”Grünbuch nachhaltige Planung der Verkehrsinfrastruktur”, p. 25. (from German Zero 2021, p. 230).

Measure / action: Disincentivise car aquisition/ownership

Policy Instrument ID 241: Car admission tax

Description: Introduction of car admission tax (potentially levied together with yearly car tax). Based on:

  • energy consumption (also incl. future EVs), weight
  • exclude EVs until market ramp-up
  • step-wise phase-out of buyer premia

Other additional information: A registration tax (“malus system”) is preferable to a frequently demanded bonus-malus system because of its better overall ecological balance. In France, such a system not only cost the state 300 million EUR in the first three years due to the difficulty of estimating the economic balance; the bonus also led to increased demand, which in turn increased the overall fleet size.

Sources: Bundesumweltministerin S. Schulze, Der Tagesspiegel: Käufer von spritfressenden Autos sollen mehr zahlen (Stand: 02.02.2020).

SPD (2020): “Beschlussbuch des ordentlichen Bundesparteitags vom 06. bis 08. Dezember 2019”, p. 90

SRU (2017): “Für ein Bonus-Malus-System als Übergangsinstrument: Umsteuern erforderlich: Klimaschutz im Verkehrssektor”, p. 139.

UBA: “Mehr Förderung für Pkw mit niedrigen CO2-Emissionen”. (Stand: 09.08.2019).

Agora Energiewende / Agora Verkehrswende (2019): “15 Eckpunkte für das Klimaschutzgesetz”, p. 2.

Klima-Allianz Deutschland: “Klimaschutzplan 2050 der deutschen Zivilgesellschaft”, p. 21.

Wuppertal Institut (2020: “CO2-neutral bis 2035: Eckpunkte eines deutschen Beitrags zur Einhaltung der 1,5-°C-Grenze”,p. 89.

Adelphi/Ecofys (2018): “Bonus-Malus Vehicle Incentive System in France”.

Vgl. D’Haultfoeuille et al. (2014): “The Environmental Effect of Green Taxation: The Case of the French Bonus/Malus.” (from German Zero 2021, p. 219).

Policy strategy: Reduce air transport

Measure / action: Limit supply

Policy Instrument ID 228: Ban on air travel within the EU of less than 600 km

Description: <600km air travel ban within EU

Other additional information: According to the EIB’s 2019-2020 Climate Change Survey, 67% of Germans and 62% of Europeans support a ban on short-haul flights.

Source: EIB: “Umfrage der EIB zum Klimawandel 2019–2020”. (from German Zero 2021, p. 269).

Policy strategy: Improve public transport and multi-modality

Measure / action: Public transport funding

Policy Instrument ID 250: Employer pay local public transport fee

Description: Employers pay 2.6% in urban centers, in rural regions 0.55% of wages. Higher contributions for facilities inducing more traffic (See FR: 0.55-2.6% of wage to finance local PT). Applicable only to employers >10 employees, exemption for 10 years after establishment.

Implementation Example: Against this background, municipalities in France are entitled to levy an earmarked employer contribution for the financing of public transport. In the capital region around Paris, the levy was able to cover 42% of the required financial resources in 2017 (operating costs and investment costs). A similar model exists in Vienna with the so-called employer levy, which brought the city of Vienna approximately EUR 67 million in 2018.

Sources: Sog. Versement Transport bzw. Versement Mobilité, s. Légifranc:” Décret n° 2020-801 du 29 juin 2020 relatif au versement destiné au financement des services de mobilité, aux plans de mobilité et au comité des partenaires”.

European Platform on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (2019): “Funding and Financing of Sustainable Urban Mobility Measures”, p. 18.

Gesetz vom 11. Juli 1969 und vom 12. September 1969 über die Einhebung einer Dienstgeberabgabe, LGBl. für Wien Nr. 17/1970.

Vgl. Wien (2019): Rechnungsabschluss der Bundeshauptstadt Wien für das Jahr 2018, p. 169. (from German Zero 2021, p. 244).

Policy strategy: Improve freight rail

Measure / action: Improve infrastructure

Policy Instrument ID 278: Financial support of road-rail connectivity infrastructure

Description: Rail/road connectivity: Establish goods-shifting infrastructure at nodes for cost-efficient shift from/to road/rail. Investment in infrastructure and subsidies for interconnectivity. Example: AT.

Other additional information: In this way, the CO2 emissions of a transport chain can be reduced by an average of 55% compared to direct road transport, and the use of primary energy can be reduced by a third.

Source: Calculations by German Zero based on: Nestear (2003): “CO2-Reduzierung durch kombinierten Verkehr”. (from German Zero 2021, p. 248).


Policy strategy: Limits to consumption

Measure / action: Reduction and regulation of advertising

Implementation Example: ban on advertisements for fossil fuels in France since 2022 and ban from fossil fuel companies and the aviation industry in Amsterdam since 2021


Quantification: shutting down the illuminated advertisements at night in a (closed) large subway station in Berlin can save as much electricity as 16 four-people households consumpe per year (64 MWh/year).


Measure / action: Limitation of illumination

Implementation Example: In France, a lighting ban has been established in 2013: from 1 a.m. or one hour after leaving the building, lights must be switched off in offices, stores and public buildings. Illuminated advertising is switched off overnight. The violation of the law is punishable.


Implementation Example: In Germany, illumination of public non-residential buildings and historic monuments, shop illumination and illuminated advertising at night is temporarily prohibited in winter 2022/2023.


Quantification: The lighting ban in France is estimated to save 2 TWh electricity or 0,25 megatonnes of CO2 p. a. in France.


Policy strategy: Social Innovations/Research and Development for Sufficiency

Measure / action: Funding for sufficiency research and consultancy

Policy Instrument ID 291: Create government institutions / intermediaries working on energy sufficiency, e.g. research, consultancy, communication

Description: Create government institutions / intermediaries working on energy sufficiency, e.g. research, consultancy, communication

Implementation Example: ADEME in France (The Ecological Transition Agency) published sufficiency scenarios in 2021 / Motiva Oy in Finland offers expertise and services regarding energy sufficiency for a wide range of stakeholders / UBA, the German Environmental Agency, awarded multiple third-party research projects on sufficiency and conducts inhouse research regarding sufficiency.

Source: ADEME / Motiva Oy.

Policy strategy: Internalisation of external costs and limits to externalisation

Measure / action: Pricing of GHG emissions

Policy Instrument ID 89: Inflation indexing (in fuel taxation reform)

Description: Absolute tax-levels should be indexed to avoid devaluation of taxes (as DK, NL, SE)

Implementation Example: In order to counteract a permanent devaluation of taxes, tax rates should in future be automatically linked to the development of a consumer price index every year, as in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Sources: FÖS: “Steuervergünstigung für Dieselkraftstoff”, p. 5.

SRU (2017): “Umsteuern erforderlich: Klimaschutz im Verkehrssektor”, p. 123.

Klima-Allianz Deutschland (2016): “Klimaschutzplan 2050 der deutschen Zivilgesellschaft”, p. 20. (aus German Zero 2021, p. 223).