20 Nov 2019, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

Bavaria strives for climate neutrality between 2040 and 2050

Clean Energy Wire / Bayrischer Rundfunk

Bavaria's state cabinet has adopted a climate action law and additional measures to reach its target of becoming climate neutral between 2040 and 2050. The state administration itself aims to reach climate neutrality by 2030 through emissions compensation. "Bavaria wants to be pioneer and role model for other states," said premier Markus Söder. The climate law must now be adopted by the state legislature. The additional 10-point plan of climate action measures focusses on the state's forests and moorland, climate-friendly agriculture and renewables expansion, first and foremost solar PV. "Bavaria is a sun state," the government notes. Bavaria’s government is increasing climate investments by 50 percent, bringing them to a total of 700 million euros in the coming years. Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reports that the state's contentious 10-H minimum distance rule for wind turbines from the nearest settlement (at least 10 times its height) will remain in force. However, it could be bypassed by way of local public petitions, should a community wish to do so, state economy minister Hubert Aiwanger said.
"All of this is not a revolution, but it is more than the right step in the right direction," writes Nikolaus Neumaier in a separate opinion for Bayrischer Rundfunk. He sees wind energy as the weak point in the Bavarian climate package: "The 10-H distance rule […] has brought wind power expansion to a standstill.”

Bavaria is not the first German state to introduce its own climate action measures. In a short analysis from early 2019, the Ecologic Institute said the city state of Hamburg was the first of about half of German states to do so. The federal German parliament (Bundestag) greenlit the first national climate action law in mid-November 2019. State Premier Söder has ratcheted up his rhetoric on climate action in recent months, declaring it a policy priority. In June, he called for a “massively accelerated” German coal exit.

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