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Much encouragement for the Jena Climate Action Plan


The interest was great: At a public event, the city of Jena presented its climate action plan. More than 100 citizens accepted the invitation to the Historic City Hall to learn how Jena can become climate neutral by 2035. After the presentation, the participants discussed various measures, some of which were controversial. Of particular interest were the topics of mobility and climate-neutral administration.

The topic of mobility is particularly visible to citizens in their everyday lives and was discussed with corresponding emotion. The participants agreed that the share of private motorized transport must be reduced in order to achieve the climate target set by the city council. On the other hand, walking, cycling and local public transport must be significantly strengthened. In order to achieve this, a cycling plan for Jena 2035+ is currently being developed. Many visitors were also interested in the climate protection activities within the administration up to the year 2035. It became clear that the city administration must lead the way by acting as a role model and at the same time motivate the citizens and also the business community to do more to protect the climate. The visibility of the administration's climate protection activities must also be increased. To this end, the climate action plan proposes a climate protection campaign to provide information, raise awareness and motivate people over the period up to 2035.

Mayor Christian Gerlitz is satisfied with the event: "In addition to the early presentation of the draft, the aim was above all to discuss the planned measures with the citizens. We took away suggestions and hints, but also received a lot of approval for our climate action plan. The consistently high level of interest in the Climate Action Plan shows us once again that climate protection is a very central part of the social debate in Jena."

Now that the draft of the Climate Action Plan has been presented to the public and suggestions from citizens have been taken on board, the technical examination of the new proposals will follow. In addition, further coordination will have to follow, both within the administration with the relevant specialist services and with the parliamentary groups of the city council. After the revision, the city administration will present the final version of the climate action plan to the city council for discussion and decision-making. Provided that the city council members approve it, the measures will be implemented.

The path to the climate action plan

Since December 2021, the city of Jena has been working on the Climate Action Plan together with target GmbH, many local stakeholders, and the citizens of Jena. The goal is to show what measures can be taken to make Jena climate-neutral, what costs the city will incur in the process, and how much manpower will be required. The basis for this is provided by the city council resolution "Jena climate neutral by 2035" of July 14, 2021.

A working group - consisting of 36 members from the administration, local politics, civil society, housing companies, municipal utilities and many others - acts as the central body in the drafting process. The measures for making Jena climate-neutral by 2035 were developed by the working group members in seven different workshop-type and topic-specific workshops. The workshops focused on the topics of mobility, climate-neutral administration, activation of civil society, building and neighborhood renovation, the role of municipal utilities, climate-neutral companies, and consumption and nutrition.

Successful citizen participation: Many ideas for the climate action plan

The people of Jena were also able to actively participate in the development process through various citizen participation formats. For example, the Round Table "Climate and Environment" organized the "Climate Day Jena" on April 24, 2022, where ideas for the Climate Action Plan were discussed and collected. In addition, from March to early July, citizens were able to submit suggestions for a climate-neutral Jena via an online idea map. A total of more than 800 suggestions were received, many of which were reflected in the draft presented yesterday after intensive examination.