Berlin (dpa) - Shortly before the decision on a strategy of the Federal Government for more climate protection, the leaders of the coalition parties come together for consultations.
The meeting is preparing the meeting of the so-called Climate Cabinet chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Friday. Then far reaching decisions are to be made, so that Germany creates the climate goals until 2030. Above all, it is about making the emission of the climate-damaging greenhouse gas CO2 more expensive when driving and heating. In return, relief is planned for citizens and companies, for example in the case of high electricity prices.
But while the Union so far wants to set up billions of dollars in subsidy programs primarily for incentives, the SPD is pushing for targets. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told the "Rheinische Post" (Thursday): "It is important that we create reliability and commitment." The young people must be able to rely on these and future federal governments to adhere to their own goals. "In order to do that, we have to stipulate and control by law that we achieve the savings targets year after year."
If a sector, such as transport, does not meet the targets, it needs immediate follow-up - with additional climate protection measures and not with the purchase of emission allocations. "We have to arrange mechanisms for that. We need such a safety net for climate protection. It will not work without it. »
Meanwhile, industry is pushing for incentives for investment. "Our companies need decisions that make it possible to invest in climate protection instead of complicating it," said Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries. "Especially in the emerging economic downturn, every new investment is good for economic development."
The industry also called for "powerful" tax incentives to noticeably accelerate the energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings. Proposals by the Union and the SPD provide for fiscal support for building renovation - but the exact volume is still unclear, as with other planned measures. Gerd Landsberg, chief executive of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities warned in the «Passauer Neue Presse» (Thursday) to neglect the interests of the economy.
Plans of the Union parties also provide for a stronger alignment of vehicle tax with CO2 emissions. However, Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke from the coalition partner SPD sees the danger of social injustices. A CO2 tax on transport would be one that affects everyone, the millionaire as well as the people on a small pension, Woidke said. "But the better is there, the one who has more money in his pocket, because he can easily switch to a low-emission car." On the other hand, he gave a positive assessment of the ideas for bus and rail travel, for example, the VAT on long-distance rail tickets from 19 to 7 Percent should decrease.
The energy expert Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) considers the previous concepts of the Union and the SPD to be insufficient. "In particular, the transport sector has to deliver more," she told the "Frankfurter Rundschau" (Thursday). "Increasing the purchase premium for e-cars is money thrown out if we do not abolish the diesel privilege. We finally need cost truth: climate-damaging behavior must be expensive, climate-friendly worthwhile. »
The leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter, told the editorial network Germany (Thursday): "We would go with 40 euros per ton of CO2 and pay the revenue - the electricity tax is eliminated, and everyone gets an energy of 100 €." A family with four people then get back 460 euros a year. That's easy and transparent. "In a highly complex national emissions trading, which is in the coalition in conversation and the tons of rules needed to prevent fraud, that would be very different."
The agricultural policy spokesman of the Greens parliamentary group, Friedrich Ostendorff, demanded before the session of the Climate Cabinet: "In order for animal husbandry to be more ecologically compatible, the number of kept animals must be reduced." Farmers must be helped to "support efforts for climate protection" he said to the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung".
In addition to Merkel, the Climate Cabinet is home to the Federal Ministers Olaf Scholz (SPD / Finance), Svenja Schulze (SPD / Environment), Horst Seehofer (CSU / Interior), Peter Altmaier (CDU / Economics), Julia Klöckner (CDU / Agriculture) and Andreas Scheuer ( CSU / traffic). The committee also includes the head of the Federal Chancellery, Helge Braun (CDU), as well as government spokesman Steffen Seibert.