Climate Protection Law draft by year's end / VW mulls plant conversion
Clean Energy Wire
The German government will stick to its plan to introduce a Climate Protection Law in 2019 despite major internal difficulties harrowing the coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD). A first draft of the law will still be compiled in 2018, a spokesperson of Germany’s environment ministry (BMU) told the Clean Energy Wire. The government cabinet plans to decide the law, which aims to make sectoral emissions targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement binding, “before Easter” on 21 April, he added. It wants the parliament to pass the law before the end of 2019. Patrick Graichen, of energy policy think tank Agora Energiewende*, said the roadmap for the law largely corresponds with the government’s plan outlined in the coalition treaty. “However, I’m not sure if this coalition still has the strength to implement it,” Graichen told the Clean Energy Wire.
German environment minister Svenja Schulze had said all ministries must come up with a plan to help achieve the country’s 2030 climate goals and that she would “no longer accept inadequate measures that clearly undermine the targets”.
See the CLEW articles Germany headed for largest emissions drop since 2009 recession and German parties fiercely debate IPCC’s 1.5° report in parliament, as well as the CLEW factsheets Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 and From ideas to laws – how Energiewende policy is shaped for background.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.
Clean Energy Wire
The German government cabinet has decided a collection of energy law amendments, which include the introduction of additional renewables auctions in 2019-2021, the economy ministry (BMWi) said in a press release. The press release – while not giving many details – largely confirms last weeks’ agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and its Social Democrat (SPD) partners. According to the release, the draft law also includes provisions on modernising combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants and a cut of support payments for large roof-mounted photovoltaic arrays ranging in size from 40 to 750 kilowatts. The reform sets the course for a secure and affordable Energiewende, said economy minister Peter Altmaier. “Only with an affordable and secure energy supply can we continue to bank on broad public support for the energy transition,” he said.
For background, read the CLEW news item Government coalition reaches deal to boost renewable energy capacity.
Handelsblatt / Reuters
Carmaker VW will consider plans to convert its factories in Emden and Hanover to build electric cars at a strategy review on November 16, report Stefan Menzel and Martin Murphy in business daily Handelsblatt. The company’s plant in Emden near the North Sea could become VW’s second location dedicated exclusively to electric mobility, and insiders told Handelsblatt there are discussions to use wind power in order to make production climate-neutral, and to add battery cell production as well. VW declined to comment.
Read a Reuters report on the Handelsblatt article in English here.
For background, read the factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility and the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.
German carmakers are ill-prepared for the shift to electric mobility, according to Karl-Thomas Neumann, former head of German carmaker Opel, which used to be a GM subsidiary and is now part of French PSA Group which also makes Citroen and Peugeot cars. Neumann said the companies should spin off e-mobility businesses into new brands because managers could not run old businesses efficiently while also focusing on new units effectively dedicated to destroying the old business. Neumann now works for Californian EV start-up Evelozcity.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.
Die Welt / Tagesspiegel Background
The focus on climate in Bavaria’s coalition treaty between conservative parties Christian Socialist Union (CSU) and Free Voters is a surprise, writes Peter Issig for the Die Welt. “Some of it seems to have been copied directly from the Greens,” writes Issig. Analyses of the recent election in Bavaria had revealed disappointment with the CSU’s environmental policies also among conservative voters. But the local Green Party said the agreement was mainly greenwashing, and that it will be decisive whether the climate targets will remain a “fig leaf” or whether they will be backed up by concrete measures.
Jakob Schlandt writes in Tagesspiegel Background that Bavaria’s aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to under two tonnes per citizen annually by 2050 was equivalent to a cut of 80 percent – the less ambitious end of Germany’s climate target range of 80-95 percent.
Read the article in German here.
Find background in the article New Bavarian government coalition plans state climate protection law and the factsheet Facts on the German state elections in Bavaria.