Hydrogen: Merkel announces hydrogen strategy for aviation
The airline industry should show that more growth is not also called more greenhouse gas emissions, the Chancellor demands. The Minister of Transport is considering a higher air traffic tax.
According to the will of the Federal Government, Germany should become the center of environmentally friendly aviation. For this Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced a national hydrogen strategy at the aviation conference in Leipzig. This should be worked out by the end of the year, Merkel said.
The government not only focuses on e-mobility, but also on hydrogen as a driving force. Given that around 850,000 indirectly employed in the aviation industry in Germany, it is important that the industry remains efficient and competitive. This also means that Germany should become a leading location for more climate-friendly aviation technologies, she said. There is increasing criticism of the issue of air traffic, said Merkel. It is all the more important that the industry can show that growth "is not always associated with more growth of climate-damaging emissions".
For the financing of research into synthetic fuels, but also engine technologies and aerodynamics Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) wants to use the revenues from the aviation tax. So far, the tax revenue of around one billion euros per year flows into the federal budget without earmarking. "We have a lot to do in terms of carbon monopolization for structural policy, there has to be money for innovation and research, we have to argue about that," he said at the conference.
Flying is the most climate-damaging way of getting around
He also talked about an increase in the air traffic tax. Proposals have been made by the industry to "adjust" the levy to increase pressure for innovation, Scheuer said.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, flying is the most climate-damaging way to travel; the industry is therefore on the defensive. At the beginning of August, the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry introduced a six-point program designed to greatly reduce CO2 emissions in air traffic. Merkel praised the self-commitment of the industry to keep the emission level of the aircraft from 2020 and then reduce it to 50 percent of the value of 2005 by 2050. This would require, for example, the production of synthetic, more climate-friendly fuels or the switch to electrically powered aircraft.
At the conference Merkel also spoke about the consequences on the aviation market after Brexit. Britain will no longer have full rights after leaving the European Union. She will discuss "how to get the UK out of the UK as soon as possible," Merkel said during her meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "Because we have to fight for our economic growth naturally."
In addition, it would also be necessary to negotiate a new air transport agreement with Great Britain, because the country would then become a well-known third country. But this takes time. Therefore, it would be best to reconcile clear rules for a transitional period to avoid negative effects in aviation, warned Merkel.