Climate Action Law could be “intergenerational climate contract”
German environment minister Svenja Schulze’s proposed Climate Action Law could be “a kind of intergenerational climate contract”, ensuring that climate action remains independent of changing government majorities, the Social Democrat (SPD) wrote in a guest commentary in WirtschaftsWoche. The minister writes that the students from the Fridays for Future climate protests were right to demand to be able to rely on the government’s promises beyond the current four-year legislative period. Schulze said her Climate Action Law draft is the necessary instrument to ensure that questions such as what happens in case of non-compliance with climate targets in certain policy fields, and which ministry is responsible to provide solutions, do not come up again and again every four years. For Schulze, finding an agreement on key measures in a climate cabinet meeting on 20 September will decide the success or failure of the grand coalition government.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD said they will agree on legislation to ensure Germany reaches its 2030 climate targets by the end of 2019. Schulze advocates introducing a single big Climate Action Law, such as in the UK, to enshrine targets into law and establish ministry responsibility for target failures, as well as an accompanying cabinet programme of climate action measures for the economic sectors. When Schulze presented her draft in February 2019, it was met with fierce criticism from CDU/CSU politicians, so Merkel set up the climate cabinet to overcome the impasse. It has promised key decisions on 20 September.