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Until 31 March, cities, counties and municipalities can apply to participate in the Climate-Active Municipality competition, which concentrates on innovative climate projects that have already been implemented. With a new addition: of the total of four categories, three have a different focus this year. Each winner will be awarded €25,000. The competition is jointly organised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and the German Institute for Urban Affairs.

“Municipal Focus on Renewable Energy”; “Climate Protection Through Cooperation with Business”; and “Climate Action in Social Facilities” – these are the titles of the three focal points that have been redefined for the 2023 edition of the nationwide Climate-Active Municipality (“Klimaaktive Kommune”) competition. The fourth category, “Resource and Energy Efficiency”, was already part of last year’s contest. In 2023 the German Institute for Urban Affairs (“Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik”, Difu) is once again looking for cities, counties and municipalities that have successfully and effectively implemented innovative climate projects; the competition is funded by the National Climate Action Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Projects in which municipal administration has cooperated with other actors (e.g. societies, associations, chambers, trade), with other municipalities or with municipal companies are also welcome.

The deadline for applications ends 31 March 2023 Apply here (German only).


Among all entries, the jury will choose ten winners of equal rank: three for each of the Categories 1 through 3 – and one for the special prize. Award winners will each receive €25,000 in prize money, which has to be reinvested in climate projects.

The winners will be announced at the next Municipal Climate Conference (“Kommunale Klimakonferenz”), which is scheduled to take place in November 2023.


Category 1 – Resource and Energy efficiency
Exemplary measures to reduce the consumption of resources and/or energy in municipalities and municipal properties. (E.g. projects in the fields of municipal planning and development, infrastructure and smart networks as well as in waste and wastewater management, in industrial and business parks and for coupling sectors. Digital solutions are particularly welcome.)

Category 2 – Municipal Focus on Renewable Energy
Municipal strategies and actions to decisively drive the generation and use of renewable energy. (Exemplary municipal projects that opt for comprehensive and ground-breaking generation of solar, wind and geothermal energy as well as power from biogas, etc. Citizens may also take part, e.g. by working with citizen energy associations or other actors within the municipality).

Category 3 – Climate Action Through Cooperation with Business
Successful strategies and actions of municipalities to bring commercial companies on board in terms of climate action and sustainability. (Projects and partnerships initiated by municipalities that support the implementation or continuation of economic systems that conserve the climate and resources, e.g. through networking activities or actions in business parks and construction areas.)

Special award – Climate Action in Social Facilities
Municipal climate action measures that have an impact on social facilities operated by municipalities. . (Holistic approaches, e.g. in nursery schools, schools, hospitals, etc., that deal with topics such as: energy efficiency and savings; sharing models that conserve resources; climate-friendly mobility; motivating staff and other users to increase climate action.)

The nationwide Climate-Active Municipality competition is run by Difu as part of the Climate Active Municipalities – Ideas and Guidance (“Klimaaktive Kommunen – Ideenpool und Wegweiser”, German only) project, financed by funds from the National Climate Action Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. Cooperation partners include the Association of German Cities (“Deutscher Städtetag”), the Association of German Counties (“Deutscher Landkreistag”) and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (“Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund”). (vdo)





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