Sunday, September 15, 2019
It is probably running out on a marathon negotiation night at the end of the week: In the coalition's planned climate protection package there is still much need for advice – and the common desire for a big litter. That should be quite expensive.
The black-red coalition struggles to the end with a package of measures for more climate protection, with which the social balance is guaranteed and the economy should not be overtaxed. To meet this challenge, we need a real show of strength, "said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in her video podcast, published on Saturday, for her understanding of far-reaching decisions. At the same time she admitted: "Of course, and we do not need to talk about it, climate protection costs money."
According to information from negotiating circles, it should be at least 40 billion euros in the next four years. Among other things, a price for the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is being introduced for financing. "There is agreement that they are doing something, but the design is still open.There is still no price agreed for a tonne of CO2," quotes the news agency Reuters a coalition representative. Debt would not do the federal government for it, said Union parliamentary vice Georg Nüßlein (CSU). "That must be the goal." There are other ways of financing.
Top representatives of the often quarrelsome partners CDU, CSU and SPD were confident that a big hit would be made at the crucial session of the Climate Cabinet on 20 September. So far, clarity is only about the goal: Germany should reach the climate goals set for 2030. On Friday night, the coalition leaders had discussed details for more than five hours. Because much is still open, the round wants to meet this Thursday for last additional negotiations. Then a breakthrough in the key issues of action and financing should succeed. On Friday, the package will be presented to the public.
CO2 tax is off the table
The SPD had already moved away from the original idea of a CO2 tax and thus cleared the way for an agreement on this point. The Union wants a carbon price through the sale of rights to CO2 emissions. These rights would have to be acquired from wholesalers such as gasoline, heating oil or gas. The state should also reduce the annual expenditure. The bottom line would be similar to a tax and make fossil fuels more expensive.
In return, poorer households should be relieved. About the "how" the parties are not yet agreed. The Social Democrats initially planned return to the citizens on a flat-rate monetary bonus will probably not exist. Instead, according to the coalition circles, the focus is more on lowering electricity prices.
By 2030, 65% of electricity will come from renewable sources. Recently, however, the expansion of wind power in particular has fallen dramatically and resistance to new wind farms is growing. How the expansion could be revived, should have been controversial in the night round of the coalition. The Union continues to push for gaps between wind turbines and buildings, which the SPD believes would further slow down wind energy. Without the expansion, however, the climate goals would not be achievable.
For the transport sector, financial injections are discussed, such as the expansion of the charging station infrastructure, premiums for electric cars and money for moors that bind CO2. In addition, an early conversion of heaters could be promoted. The financing also involved a change in the car tax and an increase in the tax on aircraft tickets. All in all, as the "Welt am Sonntag" quotes government officials, the package should consist of "carrot and stick".
Greenpeace demands specifications instead of incentives
Greenpeace Managing Director Martin Kaiser demands clear guidelines from politicians. "The incentive programs of the Union in particular are unbelievably expensive and are based on the effect on the principle of hope," he told the dpa. It needs a strong climate protection law that assigns responsibility to the various sectors of the economy. Green Bundestag faction leader Anton Hofreiter looks critically at the negotiations of the coalition. "Instead of a breakthrough, the differences between the SPD and the Union in the climate package are still far too large and the proposals that are emerging, much too small," he told the editorial network Germany.
The Green politician Cem Özdemir urged to abolish the tax privilege for diesel in the climate package. "At the moment, we still subsidize diesel fuel with billions of euros per year, but anyone who demands new things should not at the same time also promote the old," said the chairman of the transport committee in the Bundestag of the "Rheinische Post". But the Greens were also cooperative: "If the government presents on September 20, what really helps to meet the climate targets, and if they want to start immediately with the implementation, then we are ready to negotiate," quoted the "world" Group leader Katrin Goering-Eckardt.
. (tagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Climate Protection (t) Climate Policy (t) Grand Coalition (t) Angela Merkel