Climate action must not come at the expense of the poor – op ed
In many western industrialised countries, environmental policy is widening the gap between wealthy elites and poorer people, as the latter suffer most from measures like CO2 levies on petrol or driving bans for older cars, writes Matthias Beermann in an op-ed on Rheinische Post Online. In Germany, only those who own a house or have savings could benefit financially from investing in wind parks or putting solar panels on their roofs, Beermann writes. Populists have identified the “social imbalance” of environmental policy to argue that elites betray the people, Beermann says. “If we allow society to be split into winners and losers of climate action, the whole project will fail,” he warns.
Welfare groups in Germany have long called for support for poorer households, which face rising electricity prices and lack the financial means to invest in more energy-efficient appliances or better insulation.