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20 Mar 2020, 13:53
Freja Eriksen

Climate should not become pawn in the coronavirus crisis – environment state sec

dpa

Climate and the environment should not be seen as "crisis profiteers", Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary of the environment ministry has told the German press agency dpa. Statements that climate action would benefit from the coronavirus through lower emissions were "false and cynical", he said. "It would be just as wrong to turn climate and the environment into losers of the crisis and to propagate the lowering of environmental standards," Flasbarth told the dpa in an article carried by Focus Online. The federal government is handling its current task of overcoming the coronavirua crisis "with a lot of responsibility", he said.

The economic crisis caused in Germany by the coronavirus has led to first calls to postpone the country's CO2 price for heating and transport, which is scheduled to enter into force next year. Gerald Ullrich, a parliamentarian from the opposition pro-business FDP party, told the newswire dpa it would be "irresponsible" to start charging 25 euros per tonne from 2021 and 55 euros by 2025 given the economic slump. Bavaria's state premier Markus Söder from the CSU party has also called for a suspension of the surcharge that supports renewable energies in Germany (the EEG) and the electricity tax in order to soften the economic effects of the coronavirus.

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