The protection of the environment is given huge importance in German law. § 20a German Constitution (Grundgesetz) states the following:
“Mindful also of its responsibility towards future generations, the state shall protect the natural foundations of life and animals by legislation and, in accordance with law and justice, by executive and judicial action, all within the framework of the constitutional order.”
Arising from this article there are many laws in Germany relating to environmental protection. As well as that there are many European regulations which will also play a major impact on any construction project launched in Germany. Unlike other legal areas there is no set Umweltgesetzbuch (environmental legal code) but strong protections do exist. Breaching environmental law (when it comes to water pollution, contaminating land, unauthorised use of asbestos etc.) can result in high fines, bad publicity and even (in some cases) imprisonment.
However, these protections of the environment and climate also present opportunities to construction projects. For companies and project leaders who are informed of and aware of these laws, there are grants and supports available from different public bodies if their projects incorporate certain environmental protections while building. Having the right permits in place and making sure that the project follows the requirements set forth by environmental will also help save money in the long run.
Environmental law is a huge element to consider when starting a construction project in Germany. There are many players from local authorities, national bodies to environmental NGOs who have different powers and interests in this field. Having our lawyers available will help reduce risks in this area when it comes to your construction projects.