Boris Palmer in Profile

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Career:

·         *1972, Waiblingen, Germany

·         Boris Palmer already started his “green” career while in Tübingen University: as a student representative he was in charge of the university’s environment and transport issues.

·         After his graduation in 2001, Palmer was elected MP to the Parliament of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg representing Tübingen. He served as his party’s speaker on environmental and infrastructure issues.

·         In 2006, Palmer was elected Mayor of the City of Tübingen and re-elected in October 2014 with more than 60% of the votes.

·         Palmer is perceived as open-minded, determined, witty, transparent and authentic. Among citizens he is well-liked and his political importance in Germany is considered high and steadily growing.

 

Green Profile:

·         Boris Palmer rides his e-bike to work every day. He refused to use the official car of his predecessors and only uses the office car on rare occasions.

·         In winter Palmer manages his household and food supply without using a fridge. He thinks that setting personal examples is the most effective way to promote a Green Lifestyle.

·         During his term in office, Tübingen's per capita CO2-emmissions dropped by 18%, and the city's use of renewable energies expanded to 40% of the city's overall energy consumption. Both numbers rank among the highest in Germany.

·         Palmer initiated new and attractive bike paths in and around Tübingen, renewed road signs and introduced intelligent traffic management including green light priority for busses. He is striving to expand low-emission zones also including two-wheeled motorized vehicles. He would like to see eBikes to be allowed on bike paths - In a nutshell: Palmer advocates equality among all traffic participants and intends to create as-green-as-possible transportation solutions.

·         Palmer is outspoken opponent of the “Stuttgart 21“project (a controversial railroad station project) and has participated in several meetings and mediation talks as a private person, taking days off duty to attend.

·         Palmer believes in interacting on social media and his Facebook profile is citizen-oriented, lively and interesting. He demonstrates a pleasant mix of serious political events, opinions, attitudes and also pictures from his field trips or curiosities he found on his way to meetings or work. It becomes obvious that his political attitudes reflect his personal lifestyle, which makes him more authentic as a politician. Critical comments and questions of citizens are not deleted from his profile.

 

Highlights and recent achievements:

·         Using wind, water and sun to generate energy, Tübingen’s green energy production increased about tenfold during recent years. Nowadays, renewable energy contributes 40% to Tübingen’s energy consumption.

·         As accommodation is not easily available in Tübingen, prefabricated houses were constructed to shelter a growing number of refugees that arrive in the EU and are dispatched to Tübingen and other cities.

·         Innovative and authentic election campaign: Under the slogan “Bring the Mayor to your flat” (freely translated from the German „Hol’ den OB in deine WG“), Palmer went to visit young families, students and other citizens in their homes for a casual evening, presenting himself, discussing political issues and getting to know each other. A second campaign event was labelled “Stresstest”: citizens could vote online for different projects the mayor should deal with and personally participate in. Among the favorites were “cleaning the city” and “fruit picking and selling it on the local market”.

·         Palmer welcomes international visits and visitors and exchange of ideas and opinions, and enjoys discussions on Facebook.

 

Main goals and campaign pledges in the field of green development:

·         Federal horticultural show: Palmer would like to bring this famous show („Bundesgartenschau“) to Tübingen focusing on the lakes and waters in and around Tübingen 

·         „TüBus“: Palmer wants to encourage commuters to take this city bus as well as the regional trains and leave their private cars at home.  

·         CO2-emission: Palmer’s ultimate goal is to further reduce and eventually half CO2 emission in Tübingen