The CO2 shadow price in the water management administration of the state of Baden-Württemberg

Blick auf eine Kaimauer am See mit Wasserstandsanzeiger.

The project was launched by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector in order to comply with the state's Climate Protection and Climate Change Adaptation Act (KlimaG BW) of 7 February 2023. The aim of the law is to contribute to net greenhouse gas neutrality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with international, European and national climate protection targets.

Particular attention is paid to the public sector, which, in accordance with Section 5 of the Act, assumes a general role model function in climate protection and climate change adaptation in its organisational area. This includes the planning of construction measures by the state, in particular with regard to the construction and renovation of buildings owned by the state.

In accordance with Section 8 of the Act, mathematical prices for each tonne of carbon dioxide produced over the life cycle (CO2 shadow price) must be estimated as part of economic feasibility studies for construction measures. This also applies to construction measures carried out by the Baden-Württemberg Water Management Administration. It is implemented by observing the CO2 Shadow Price Ordinance (CO2-SP-VO), which applies specifically to the Water Management Administration from 1 January 2024.

The CO2 shadow price, which currently stands at €237 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), serves to monetise environmental and climate impacts. This makes it easier to implement climate-friendly alternatives in planning, even if these may be more costly from a purely economic point of view.

In the project, a working aid was developed that shows how the CO2 shadow price should be taken into account in the planning of hydraulic engineering facilities. Specific CO2e loads were defined for typical construction measures in hydraulic engineering and corresponding hydraulic engineering facilities. This was done using key figures that allow scaling and adaptation to the specific task on site. The working aid provides CO2e parameters for various structures over their entire service life, differentiated according to construction methods and typical equipment.


February 2023 – September 2023


Ministerium für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft Baden-Württemberg, Referat 55 - Wasserbau und Hochwasserschutz, Gewässerökologie


Ingenieurbüro Wald und Corbe (W+C)


Link to the working aid (in German):

Link to the engineering office Wald+Corbe (in German):

Link to the client: