CO2COMPASS - Concept

Translating the goals of the Paris Agreement into action begins with municipalities. The good news is, many cities and communities are already working for the climate. They have developed climate-action plans—and are putting them in practice. Several have already declared a climate emergency, making it clear that we need to act quicker than we have been. Our time is short.

Current climate events demonstrate the need for a new hallmark in municipal climate action. We need to work more consistently and efficiently if we are to meet our climate goals at all. We need a paradigm shift. We need to increase our efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from households, trade and industry.

The CO2COMPASS initiative stands to support municipalities on the way to climate neutrality with a comprehensive plan:

1. Emission goals

Stage one determines the target emission values for the municipality based on the Paris Agreement and matches them accordingly with individual households and companies. This creates a timetable for essential CO2-reductions, a roadmap by which all climate-action measures must abide.

2. Consumption monitoring

Building proprietors are obliged by statute to report annual energy consumption values. Reports can be submitted automatically and hassle-free. All data is analyzed under strict adherence to data protection policy. CO2COMPASS provides a monitoring app for all citizens and companies with which they can see their own CO2 footprint—not only for heat and electricity, but for mobility and consumption behavior as well.

3. Participation and support

A regular participation program invites citizens and companies to be active and involved in the process. The participation program and the transparent illustration of results generate and reveal the collaborative power of each individual action, opening the door for further possibilities and a vital motivation across the community. A free consultation program helps citizens and companies meet their climate-protection targets. CO2COMPASS helps low-income households to reduce their heat and electricity costs.

4. Municipal climate contributions

In the fourth stage, the participating municipality introduces a municipal climate contribution. The fee is linked to the heat and electricity emissions of each building. The lower the current CO2 emissions, the lower the contribution. If current emissions are lower than the annual goal, the fee is dropped entirely. Citizens and companies that are actively involved in the remodeling process are likely to remain contribution-free. Others support the path to climate neutrality with their payments. The contribution fund can then be used to finance local climate-protection measures: everyone benefits. Low-income households—those that are not already contribution-free, low emissions pioneers—can have the fee reduced or waved completely.

5. Reconstruction for municipal climate neutrality

With building-specific climate assessments and the climate contribution fund, nothing stands in the way of goal-oriented, municipal investments and actions that serve everyone. This goes for buildings, but also for transportation remodeling. The goal is climate neutrality by 2035—an ambitious aim in light of current greenhouse-gas emissions in city and country alike. Nevertheless, it is imperative to meet this goal if we want to preserve our living environment for future generations.

A compass that motivates

The CO2COMPASS program provides a monitoring app that enables each participant, whether a household, a company or a municipally-run building or establishment, to track their own emissions. Using the app is voluntary, and data—which users can transfer manually or automatically—is acquired under strict privacy protection. The app provides users with a quick overview of their own footprint, illustrates effective measures they can take immediately and invites them to exchange information and network with other participants. It displays the progress made by acting in concert. The CO2COMPASS app raises awareness for the power of each individual's action and encourages participants to take responsibility.

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