Creating a better climate

Our goal: Climate neutrality by 2035, enshrined in law. Using the power of civil society.

In the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany committed itself to working with the international community on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Scientists agree that this is only possible if our country becomes climate neutral by 2035 at the latest. Yet, politically, Germany is currently on a different course: current climate policy means we are heading for global warming of more than two degrees.

This is why German Zero is working with experts, scientists, and citizens to develop a 1.5- degree legislative package. It is the first and only complete solution to make Germany climate neutral by 2035. Fair. Effective. Measurable.

Our goal is that this legislative package is passed by the German federal government, the Bundestag, after the general election in September 2021. We aim to persuade the forthcoming administration to implement all measures that are necessary to achieve the 1.5-degree goal. With bottom-up campaigning and cooperation with strategic partners, we are generating a critical mass of citizens that will send an unmistakable signal to policymakers: We want a climate-proof future - and we want a clear plan to secure it.

We can master this enormous task because we can count on the support and energy of hundreds of people who want to leave behind a future worth living for generations to come: Engaged citizens, experts from all sectors, stakeholders from business, industry, trade unions, environmental and other civil society organisations.

The Way Out of the Climate Crisis

A law made by people from all walks of life

Founded in late 2019, after just 18 months, we presented our roadmap to climate neutrality in June 2021: a catalogue of 232 measures for all sectors, from energy and industry to transport and buildings, to agriculture and land use, calibrated to work in tandem to ensure the 1,5-degree limit is achieved.

In this, we are transparent about CO2 balances that show which reduction measures are most effective in achieving climate neutrality and how they are interdependent. At any time, you can see how targets add up to the 1.5-degree total and how changes to one necessitate changes to others. In this way, we are developing a legislative package that integrates all sectors and can really achieve the overall 1.5-degree goal.

Our team developed these measures together with approx. 300 volunteers, including experts from all sectors. More than 5,000 international studies, evidence sources and regulatory measures were reviewed and the most effective at achieving climate neutrality without leaving anyone in society behind selected. Everyone was invited to contribute to the process through our online participation platform, the Zerolab. Hundreds of ordinary citizens and stakeholders tested our proposals, especially for practicality and fairness, ensuring that as many and diverse voices are heard.

In the course of Summer 2021, hundreds of legal volunteers, co-ordinated by our small in-house policy team, are drafting a bill from these measures, ready to be included in the new government’s parliamentary programme.


catalogue of 232 measures

for our 1.5-degree legislative package, has been developed in only 18 months by our in-house team and approx. 300 volunteers


members of parliament

have already given us their „climate promise“ to commit themselves to solving the climate crisis



from more than 100 organisations have taken part in our workshops to review the measures for our 1.5-degree legislative package


Reversing Climate Change Together

In order for our 1,5-degree legislative package to be passed by parliament in 2022, we need to send an unmistakable message to policymakers: that we, the German people, want a climate-proof future and we are ready to do our bit. We are mobilizing citizens up and down the country, supporting them to engage with policymakers, contribute to campaigns, to advocate with us and our partners, and to model solutions for climate-neutrality in their local areas. Through this, we strengthen civil society’s voice on climate change, and create a critical mass for the 1,5-degree target.

We do this by helping people to self-organize into local groups around two campaigns: climate referendums and political dialogue.

Climate referendums use formal participation measures, citizen petitions and citizen referendums to get local administrations to adopt a plan for climate neutrality. Climate Referendum teams are already at work in over 40 cities and districts, doing public outreach, preparing petitions, and collecting signatures. The first local climate action plan was adopted in August 2020.

Volunteers are already active in 109 or 299 voting districts, with almost 25 local groups engaging in a direct exchange with their members of parliament and election candidates. To date, there have been almost 200 meetings and discussions to find out: Do they take the climate crisis seriously and act? What are their positions on a sustainable climate policy? What do they need in order to find solutions to the crisis?

On top of that, thousands of stakeholders take part in online campaigns that we run regularly throughout the year, often in response to key developments and in partnership with others. In 2020, over 9,000 people participated, sending over 30,000 mails and cards to e.g. members of parliament.

GermanZero climate referendums and local groups

Tackling Climate Change Globally

Expertise and mobilisation combined

Our pioneering approach is to combine the expertise of a think tank with the mobilizing power of a grassroots movement. Placing so many, highly expert, volunteers at the heart of our day-to-day work means that we can accomplish what would take 120 government departments years to complete. We are free of their departmental and legal boundaries and are not held back neither by the challenges they face in collaborating nor the constraints of the parliamentary programme nor party political considerations.

Our strengths are that we aren’t biased towards any form of technologyand that we are non-partisan. We offer all democratic parties our help to align their climate policies with the Paris commitment. In this, our legitimacy comes from the hundreds of volunteers involved in our work, both experts and members of our local groups and thousands of supporters who participate in our campaigns.


climate referendums

climate referendums have been started since 2020, with numbers growing each week


out of 299 election disctricts

in Germany already see action by GermanZero volunteers



support us in our operational business and in local groups

From German Zero to Global Zero

Of course, it's not enough for Germany alone to become climate neutral by 2035. We want our work to help achieve worldwide climate neutrality. It is therefore designed to be scalable to European and global levels. We will publish our "open source" legislative package in German and English with a Creative Commons License so that it can be reproduced, further developed, and distributed.

We have also created a unique knowledge base of the many legal options and their alternatives that could be considered as solutions to the climate crisis. We will make this knowledge base and its management available as a "digital construction kit". This will save other countries time and effort, they can pick measures from our roadmap that suit them, adapt, and implement them quickly.

From spring 2022, a key focus of our work will be to scale German Zero to an international movement for Europe Zero and, ultimately, Global Zero.

Your Donation for the Future

Together we can reach the climate goal!

If things continue as they are - especially in politics - we are heading for global warming of 3-4 degrees, which will have dramatic consequences. This would not only mean that Germany would break its promise from the Paris climate protection agreement. We would also miss the last chance for a future worth living. But together we can change that! And with your donation we can make a big difference.

Talk directly to our donations team about making a corporate donation:

IBAN: DE51 4306 0967 1028 9247 00


Supporters of our mission