Berlin (dpa) - To motivate citizens to protect the climate at home, the Union wants to introduce a "climate premium" as a tax rebate for their own investments.
"Whether in climate-friendly investments in your own four walls, in investments for climate-friendly heating or energy-efficient home appliances", citizens should be able to save on tax, according to a paper of the Union factions Andreas Jung (CDU) and Georg Nüßlein (CSU) that was first reported by Der Spiegel. It is available to the German Press Agency. "Especially smaller domestic investments for climate protection should be promoted."
Further details are not available in the paper. Jung and Nüßlein were commissioned to design a climate protection concept for the Union, which should also be the basis for the decisions of the Climate Cabinet of the Federal Government - there should be decisions next week on Friday. On Friday evening, the coalition heads of the Union and SPD come together again.
A sticking point is the dispute over a CO2 price for the transport and heating sectors, which makes fuel, heating oil and natural gas more expensive, and a consequent relief for the public. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) had proposed a gradual increase in the energy tax.
By contrast, in the seven-page paper titled "Climate Efficiency for Innovation", the Union sets itself a carbon price for a trade in pollution rights. Participants are those who bring fossil fuel into circulation, such as mineral oil companies. For the price of the certificates that they have to buy per ton of CO2, there should be a lower and an upper limit - at the height of the Union does not commit itself in the paper, but for the effect of the CO2 price, this is crucial.
If too many participants offer the maximum price, additional certificates can be "generated" through climate protection projects, such as planting trees or protecting the rainforest. According to the paper, the Union wants to engage in international climate negotiations and at EU level to ensure that such measures are recognized. "Compensation must not replace national efforts, but it can complement them sensibly," says the concept.
The commuter allowance should be increased "in line with the development" of the new emissions trading system and receive a "clear climate signal" - however, it remains open in the EU paper. The motor vehicle tax should be even more than before based on the CO2 emissions, the taxation of company cars also. Fuel that does not consist of oil and natural gas should be exempted from the energy tax. Examples are not mentioned, but this could apply for biodiesel.
For long-distance travel by rail, the Union wants to lower the VAT from 19 to 7 percent, so that tickets are cheaper - the railway should commit to fully pass this on lower fares to customers. On the other hand, the air traffic tax for short-haul flights should rise, and the paper also speaks of "anti-dumping measures".
In the building sector, a scrapping premium of "several thousand euros" is intended to ensure that citizens exchange their old heating system for a more climate-friendly one. Also for other climate-friendly renovations there should be advantages in the tax.
Some of the suggestions fit with the concepts of the SPD. However, there is still a great deal to talk about before the decisive meeting of the Climate Cabinet - among other things, it is unclear whether the measures proposed in traffic, for example, are enough and what all of this costs. Both the SPD and the Union propose to involve citizens by being able to invest their money in an "environmental bond".