Sustainable transport infrastructure

The upcoming review of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan (FTIP) is a chance to align transport infrastructure planning with climate change goals.

Agora Verkehrswende and Climate Neutrality Foundation (2021): Climate stress test for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan. Proposal for an immediate reform. (in German)

The Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan (Bundesverkehrswegeplan) is the most important planning instrument for road, rail and water infrastructure. The current Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, which covers the time period until 2030, has a volume of around 270 billion euros. In its current form, it is not compatible with the climate target of 65 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2045.

Against this background, Climante Neutrality Foundation and Agora Verkehrswende have commissioned the law firm Becker Büttner Held to investigate in a legal opinion (in German) whether and how the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan and the expansion laws based on it can be adapted in the short term so that infrastructure planning is in line with climate protection targets.

Against this background, Climante Neutrality Foundation and Agora Verkehrswende make a proposal for a short-term reform:

  • As part of the review of the requirements plan due in December 2021, the projects currently listed in the expansion laws will be reviewed on the basis of new planning principles.
  • The Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, i.e. the corresponding the expansion laws, will be adapted so that the plans are in line with sustainable planning principles.
  • Central planning principles should be:
    • compliance with climate targets in the transport sector,
    • the prioritization of rail infrastructure over road maintenance and expansion projects on a quota basis,
    • the definition of budget shares for asset maintenance versus expenditures for expansion and new construction,
    • the obligation to examine alternatives: if bottlenecks are forecast in the road network, the expansion of parallel rail routes will also be examined.


  • Subsequently, projects will be reprioritized or removed from the requirement plans.
  • Following the original planning, the review of the requirement plan will be completed in 2023.
  • In 2024, the expansion laws for the various modes of transport will be adjusted.
  • In the medium term, the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan should be upgraded with a legally binding regulation to also ensure the development of future plans in accordance with the principles and procedures to be regulated therein. Such a law should contain both the necessary planning principles and the precise procedural regulations, in addition to a prefatory purpose of the law.