Especially in times of very tight public budgets, sustainability- and performance-oriented budgeting opens up new ways of implementing ambitious policies for the future with less money. With participation from the Bundestag, the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Audit Office and the three departments of the current 11th Spending Review, BMF, BMWK and BMUV, the FiFo-workshop at the Ministry for the Environment looked at the sound German preconditions for, as well as the important further steps towards sustainability-oriented budget modernization. Special thanks for the inputs from Deloitte and ZEW and in particular on Austrian green budgeting from the MoF in Vienna.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Klaus Mackscheidt passed away on 10 November 2023. With his demise, the University of Cologne has lost a passionate academic teacher, a great economist and an even greater person. We will miss him dearly. In 2023, Klaus Mackscheidt had been Director at the FiFo Institute for Public Economics for 50 years. He celebrated this unique anniversary, modest and tireless as ever, with unflagging productivity. His last two essays "Klimaschutz und Wohnungsbedarf" and "Sondervermögen versus Schuldenbremse" are published posthumously as FiFo Discussion Papers.

Faced with advanced climate change, a consistent environmental ethic requires a radical change in housing supply – more radical than what seems politically feasible. In FiFo Discussion Paper 23-1, Andreas Becker, Head of the Climate Monitoring Department at the German Weather Service, and Klaus Mackscheidt explore the need for adaptation, the options for flexible housing and for new construction only in the case of immigration. In their essay, they argue in favour of an ambitious policy of many small steps – knowing that the “big leaps” too often fail and result in (temporary) paralysis.

Subsidies granted as tax privileges are as popular around the globe as they are troublesome. Michael Thöne digitally joins a regional workshop of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL / ECLAC) in Mexico City to report on Germany's early progress in evaluating tax expenditures. Currently, the significant progress being made in this area in Latin America and in many partner countries of German development cooperation is impressive, while at the same time little is happening in Germany itself.

Municipal climate action is becoming increasingly important. Municipal finance equalisation laws (KFAs) form the backbone of needs-based financing of local government in the German Länder. The question of whether and - if so - how climate protection and adaptation fit into these KFAs is now being investigated for the first time by FiFo in cooperation with Professor Thomas Döring (sofia Darmstadt). The second focus of the study will be the question of whether multi-annual tax revenues can make allocations more predictable for local authorities. The research project on behalf of the MHKBD NRW was launched on 7 November with an intensive exchange of ideas with North Rhine-Westphalian associations of municipalities.

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