Initial situation

Introduced in 2008, the Federal Environment Ministry’s national climate protection initiative initiates and supports a large number of activities that contribute to achieving climate protection targets. These cover a broad range of climate protection activities, from concept design to investment measures. The programmes and projects of the national climate protection initiative benefit consumers and municipalities, businesses and educational institutions.

Climate protection and adaptation to the effects of climate change will be afforded greater prominence in the development of local and national planning over the coming years. Citizens take part in processes of this kind and can have a positive impact in terms of climate protection. This is why it is necessary to anchor climate change concerns amongst citizens and to provide a corresponding participation instrument for formal and informal planning projects. The current rules and methods are aimed at adults – the involvement of children and young people is only selective.

The project

The aim of this project was to develop methods for including children and young people age-appropriate in climate-relevant planning processes in their living environment. Building blocks were developed for substantive and practical democracy education, while at the same time teaching the children about shaping the future in terms of education for sustainable development for practical implementation in a municipal setting. Children and young people can use the content to find out about their own options for shaping the future by learning about planning procedures, democratic structures, methods of direct citizen involvement, cooperative work, and handling complexity in relation to practical examples aimed at their age group.

Previously there was no recognised, tried and tested procedure for the involvement of children and young people, which is why it usually failed in practice. The development of the method suitcase closed a gap. It contains proposals, samples and materials designed to provide children and young people with age-specific opportunities for involvement. A print run of 1,000 copies of the suitcase was produced and is being used by a range of stakeholders, such as those involved in municipal and regional planning, schools, educational and youth facilities.


December 2011 – November 2014


Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety


The case itself is now out of print. Individual materials can still be ordered and are available to download here:

Booklet Participation, pdf 8 MB

Booklet Climate, pdf 4 MB

Booklet Planning + Climate, pdf 8 MB

Booklet Methods, pdf 6 MB

All booklets in German