The Environmental Code (Umweltgesetzbuch, "UGB" for short) is a comprehensive reform project which has been launched a number of times in the past but never implemented through to completion. The underlying basic concept is to collate all Germany's environmental legislation in a systematic manner, enabling it to be restructured and simplified. This is intended to facilitate application of the law, improve the implementation of European environmental legislation and promote an integrated approach.
German environment legislation is currently laid down in specific laws governing particular areas, focused particularly on the protection of individual environmental resources (air, water, soil etc.). By contrast, the Environmental Code encompasses all environmental resources. Where measures are taken to protect specific environmental resources, the impact on other areas of the environment must be taken into account. A complete draft Environmental Code was drawn up in Germany's 16th legislative period, based on a resolution passed by the coalition parties at the time. Final agreement could not be reached between the parties, however, so the draft could not be implemented.
adelphi provided extensive scientific and practical support to the project. Briefs were prepared on specific legal issues in the context of the Environmental Code, research was carried out on relevant issues of environmental law, and background papers and policy strategy papers were drawn up. adelphi also assisted in communications with key stakeholders (the federal states, professional bodies, the scientific community, etc.).