The German Federal Government has recognised sustainability as a cross-sectional task and has made it a fundamental principle of its policy. The most im-portant reform projects of this parliamentary term are oriented towards sustainabil-ity. The basis is formed by the consolation of the national budget: with the aim of reducing new borrowing to nil by 2006, we are creating financial stability and re-turning freedom of decision and creativity to future generations. With the tax re-form and the two Acts for promote families, we are easing the burden on families and employees and offering companies more room to manoeuvre.
The ecological tax reform provides stimulus for increasing energy efficiency and reduces inciden-tal wage costs. The pension reform re-evaluates responsibility between the gen-erations in that it reinforces individual responsibility with additional provisions sponsored by the Government. Conditions are therefore in place to ensure that statutory pension schemes can be still financed by the contributions payer in the future. Reorientation towards a sustainable agricultural policy focusing on consumer pro-tection has also already been introduced with a series of measures. The common task of agricultural structure and coastal protection has been brought into line with these principles as a central support programme at national and regional level. In addition, the introduction of the “Bio-Siegel” (Eco Seal) offers consumers clarity and security when purchasing ecologically produced food products. Furthermore, with conservation of the natural foundations of life, particularly in terms of climate protection and opening the doors to the energy supply of the fu-ture, the course has been set for sustainable development: between 1998 and 2001 the share of wind power was increased through statutory support from 3,000 to 8,000 megawatts and many jobs were created in this industry of the future. In the year 2000, by voluntary agreement with trade and industry, the German Government agreed upon more extensive and demanding targets for reducing CO2. T
here is also great potential for energy saving in the redevelopment of existing buildings. Investments of EUR 5 billion, including around EUR 1 billion of federal funds, will be dedicated to this area.
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