Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (both SPD) campaign for raising the EU's climate protection goals for 2030. "The European Union needs to tighten its climate targets for 2030 next year, and it needs to be more ambitious," Maas said. The EU must lead.
Schulze said that Germany should support the new EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, to increase the target for saving greenhouse gases from the current 40% to 50%, maybe even 55%.
On 2 December, the United Nations Climate Change Conference will begin in Madrid. The climate agreement of Paris envisages that in 2020 the member states will tighten their climate protection plans - for Germany this would be the EU plan.
At present, the goal in the EU is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Different countries - such as the Netherlands - want to increase the target to 55 percent. This is also the goal of the Leyen. It is foreseeable that the EU will probably surpass the 40 percent target if laws already passed are implemented.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had already said in The Hague in August that she could "support the Dutch proposal very well". Publicly, however, the Federal Government had not pursued the issue vigorously. Schulze said that the federal government's position has not yet been agreed.
What would mean a 55-percent target for Germany is open. Although Germany already has a national target of minus 55 percent by 2030 - one should not confuse this: after a complicated internal burden-sharing at European level, this is the German contribution to achieving the lower EU target.
Motivate other countries
A more ambitious EU target could therefore mean that Germany also has to contribute more - if existing rules on burden-sharing make it possible to reduce emissions from transport, buildings and agriculture. The climate targets for industry and the energy industry are to be achieved via EU-wide emissions trading.
At the climate conference in December, above all, rules should be negotiated, according to which states can deal with each other with pollution rights. If that succeeds, the EU could also increase its climate target by paying for greenhouse gases to be saved elsewhere.
Maas said the resolutions of the black-red coalition on climate change could motivate other countries to follow this path. "Despite all the discussions in Germany, whether that is sufficient, I believe that the international attention will be great." Germany's credibility has suffered in recent years because it has not pursued the climate goals consistently enough.
Speed limit in Germany?
There is currently a dispute over the rules for the distance between wind turbines and residential buildings. "We can not do that in this way," Schulze said about the proposals from the Ministry of Economy. To create 65 percent green electricity by 2030, wind power would have to be expanded. "What the Ministry of Economics has submitted, is not yet sufficient."
Basically, the federal government and coalition leaders had agreed that between wind turbines and housing estates should be at least 1000 meters away, so that residents accept such facilities rather. A recent bill envisages that this should be true even if more than five houses are connected, and the distance must also be respected to houses that can still be built.
For Schulze, the speed limit has not yet spoken the final word. If traffic in climate protection is not sufficiently advanced, it could become a new topic. The SPD also wants a speed limit for security reasons, said Schulze, but it is not feasible in the coalition with the Union - "at least not at the moment".
A study had shown that a speed limit would significantly reduce the number of accidents. In the coming years, every year will be checked whether the CO2 emissions in traffic sink, said Schulze. "I do not think that's the last word spoken." The Netherlands is currently introducing 100 km / h top speed on all its highways during the daytime.