Comprehensive pricing of CO2 emissions in the future in the areas of buildings and transport and making it noticeably more expensive in industry and power generation could "take climate protection far ahead", says Andreas Löschel, energy economist from Münster.

In principle, the “Fit for 55” package from the EU Commission is therefore to be welcomed.

Niklas Záboji

Editor in business.

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The decisive factor, however, is to avoid overlapping regulation and to abandon purely national goals.

Otherwise little is gained for the climate, other states do not feel taken with them, and citizens and companies are overwhelmed.

"If we manage to rely on the market-driven reduction of emissions without too much double regulation, and thus show that climate protection and economic development go together, that can be a role model," says Löschel, who is the expert commission for monitoring the Energiewende is in the air, in conversation with the FAZ

"Need massively more renewable electricity generation"

He is critical of the German climate protection law with binding emission targets at sectoral level in annual steps.

"We mustn't become too fragmented, but should think more European," said Löschel.

If CO2 pricing with pollution rights that can be traded across Europe becomes a key climate policy instrument in the future, focusing on national targets will be even more problematic.

Otherwise, there is a risk that emissions will simply be relocated abroad.

Löschel: "If comprehensive European emissions trading also comes with buildings and traffic, the national climate protection law should be brought into line with it." Emissions trading - in which market participants save CO2 where it is cheapest - and national emergency programs hardly fit together.

When it comes to the expansion of green electricity, economist Löschel calls for a much more European perspective.

The best production conditions for solar systems are in the Mediterranean south, most of the wind blows in the north and northwest.

The potential in Europe is enormous - and sufficient to meet Europe's energy needs in 2050.

But while in other European countries the financial means for investments are often lacking, in this country they are available, but there is a lack of space for the expansion of green electricity, and there is resistance and administrative hurdles.

"We need massively more renewable electricity generation and better complement our national activities at European level."

But so far too little has been said about the way in which the European expansion of renewables is being promoted.

“Are the Europeans ready to bear not only generally higher costs for climate protection, but also the necessary expansion of services and investments in member states with favorable starting conditions?

From my point of view, that's not clear, ”says Löschel.

Especially since, conversely, it must also become clear how, once given, start-up aid can be reduced again with rising CO2 prices.

"At prices that we see on the electricity market today, a great deal of market-driven expansion of renewables is possible," says the energy economist.

Because the CO2 price makes coal-based power generation, which is particularly harmful to the climate, more expensive and pushes it out of the market, more and more investments in wind and solar systems across Europe pay off even without subsidies.

If the CO2 price in emissions trading continues to rise, this is all the more the case.

"If that is not enough, European solutions should be found as a matter of priority," emphasizes Löschel.

He also criticized the planned climate tariff.

In the long term, this could actually cause more damage than it brings - and is particularly problematic for export-oriented Germany, as Brussels cannot and does not want to relieve the export of products to third countries.

From Löschel's point of view, the measurement of the CO2 content of imports and possible loopholes are also likely to cause difficulties.

It can be assumed that the climate tariff will come, but that it will take a long time to implement. Löschel says: "The time could have been used more positively to bring Europe closer together with other countries on climate protection."