German Environment Agency – UBA

Member since: 05/2019

Active in: WG Plastics, WG E-Waste, WG Framework conditions

German Environment Agency – UBA

Since 1974, the German Environment Agency (UBA) has been the central federal environmental authority with the following tasks, among others (see also - Scientific support of the BMU in matters of environmental protection, including climate and immission control, soil protection, waste and water management, chemical safety and health issues, and of the BMWi in matters of renewable energies and energy efficiency. - Informing the public about environmental issues, operating the information system for environmental planning and central environmental documentation, etc. - Self-research and technical support of research projects of the BMU/BMWi - Enforcement of various environmental laws - Participation in national and international environmental committees - UBA's international advisory activities (in particular for environmental ministries and authorities in emerging and developing countries)

The German Environment Agency (UBA) has one core task: to protect the population and the environment. To carry out its work, the UBA makes use of international environmental technological and knowledge transfer, most of which takes place through consultation and the provision of information. The aim of these exchanges is to improve environmental conditions (particularly in developing countries and emerging economies), develop country-specific plans for sustainable waste management, and support the use of German technology. Exploiting synergies to the full requires cross-cutting cooperation with all parties involved, as well as pooling information on international initiatives relevant to the waste management sector and the circular economy. This means going beyond narrowly-focused environmental protection work to examine what other key players in other industries are doing. Only by gathering as much information as possible can we make future projects (more) relevant to people’s needs, network on specific projects and regions, and develop joint and/or mutually supporting projects. We hope the Alliance will play a major role in driving progress towards our objectives in this area.

The circular economy is a key public service, helps to protect both the environment and public health, and makes major contributions to the conservation of natural resources, securing supplies of raw materials, and fighting climate change. It is intended to combat the negative effects associated with the use of both raw materials and finished products throughout their life cycles (by reducing the use of primary materials and replacing them, particularly with secondary materials), as well as to reduce the impact of the waste we generate and of the waste management industry. However, creating a circular economy that is both environmentally and economically credible will require securing reliable sources of funding. One way of securing this funding is by applying the principle of extended producer responsibility to financing. The UBA is convinced that, in a true circular economy, producer responsibility cannot be confined to national borders. Trade is a global business, and it is important to discuss how producer responsibility can be made to work on a global scale. Germany benefits from highly-quality disposal processes for managing different types of waste. The UBA encouraged and supported the development of these systems, which is why it also supports (e.g. by providing specialist advice) the international transfer of waste management technology designed to establish the conditions for a modern waste management industry, including by:
• providing and integrating technology into suitable waste management concepts.
• expanding recycling and reuse of high-quality materials.
• raising awareness of environmental issues among the population.
• securing political will to act, particularly in terms of the legal framework and the provision of funding.

The UBA’s over-arching aim for development policy is thus to create a sustainable economy, with a view to establishing a world-wide, circular economy based on the five-stage waste hierarchy.