Climate protection, public procurement law - can they go together?

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By Dr. Sebastain Schattenfroh

Climate protection is omnipresent; in the meantime, even the Federal Constitutional Court has written into the German government's statute book that it must take more account of the interests of future generations when it comes to climate protection.

Photo: Petra Baum

When it comes to planning and building, a wide variety of building and environmental laws now contain targets, and in some cases even "hard" regulations, that must be met in the interest of climate protection during construction. For example, the German Building Code has long given local authorities the right to incorporate climate protection targets into urban land use planning; building codes open up various options for construction with the aim of climate protection; various mobility laws promotelower-CO2 transport concepts, in some cases with far-reaching effects on urban landscapes; and significant parts of energy legislation also have an impact on infrastructure and building construction measures with climate protection targets.

If, however, one describes the legal situation in this regard as a large, bustling picture with a multitude of actors, scenes and events, and then searches for public procurement law in this picture, one finds quite a bit of silence. Very few public invitations to tender for planning or construction services are characterized by climate protection goals; a fortiori, climate protection is nowhere at the center of such invitations to tender.
The following explanations are intended to provide an overview of what the federal and state governments have regulated in public procurement law as it stands today.

Author: Dr. Sebastian Schattenfroh, specialist attorney for construction and architectural law, specialist attorney for public procurement law, legal advisor to the Association of German Landscape Architects, Berlin. The text was published in the bdla association magazine "Landschaftsarchitekten" 4/2021.

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