Buildings minister proposes tax rebates for climate-friendly renovation
Horst Seehofer (CSU), German federal minister of the interior, building and community and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet, will propose making the climate-friendly renovation of older buildings tax deductible in order to help bring down emissions in the sector, he said in an interview with the Rheinische Post. Asked whether he supported the idea of introducing a CO₂ tax for climate protection, Seehofer said he does not want to place an additional burden on citizens. “We need to lower taxes, not raise them,” he said. Insulation and renovation have the highest CO₂ saving potential in the buildings sector, and the government would support the tax scheme with 1-2 billion euros, he added.
Despite last year’s largest drop in greenhouse gas emissions since the 2009 recession, Germany is still under pressure to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030. Emissions from buildings must be reduced by at least 66 percent compared to 1990 levels (2018: -44 percent). Merkel’s government promised in its coalition agreement to introduce legislation by the end of 2019 to make sure the country reaches its climate targets, and pushed the topic to the top of its agenda by setting up the “climate cabinet”. In February, Seehofer cancelled plans to set up a commission that was supposed to propose ways to cut carbon emissions in the buildings sector. He has so far failed to submit proposals for climate action measures, as asked for by environment minister Svenja Schulze.