03 Sep 2021, 12:12
Edgar Meza

Chancellor candidates criticised for silence about climate protection costs

Die Zeit, Handelsblatt, taz

Climate protection has been high on the agenda in the run-up to Germany’s 26 September federal election, but one issue has been conspicuously absent from the debate: the rising costs of the energy transition, in particular the anticipated price hike on fuel. Media outlets are taking chancellor candidates to task for their obfuscation. “The parties like to hide how expensive the transition to a climate-friendly future will be,” writes Petra Pinzler in Die Zeit. “That's wrong.” Asked whether the transition will be expensive, and who will have to pay for it, political leaders become taciturn, she adds. In Handelsblatt, Daniel Delhaes states that if the candidates have their way, “Germany will become a climate-neutral country with almost no uncomfortable decisions”. “Annalena Baerbock from the Greens is promoting solar systems on every roof, SPD candidate Olaf Scholz wants to ‘increase’ expansion targets for green electricity, and [CDU/CSU] Union leader Armin Laschet is “setting the pace, accelerating the process”, he adds. The unanimous answer to questions about who would pay for decarbonization during a recent debate was: “It will be an industrial project, socially fair, don't worry.” The taz’s Susanne Schwarz notes that only the Greens are demanding a ban on new combustion engine cars beyond 2030. By contrast, the CDU/CSU and SPD candidates insist they don’t want to ban anything for climate protection. They should be asked about the lack of substance in their election programmes when it comes to keeping the global temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius, Schwarz writes, rather than about the high costs of climate protection, particularly in a year in which German taxpayers will likely have to pay 30 billion euros due to flood damage caused by climate change.

Raising the national carbon price, particularly in the transport and heating sectors, is seen as essential in reaching climate targets.

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