Climate targets could greatly inflate costs of modernising German military
The planned modernisation of Germany’s military announced in chancellor Olaf Scholz’s “Zeitenwende” (turning of the times) speech following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could face substantial additional costs due to decarbonisation targets, according to a report in newspaper Die Tageszeitung (taz). The government aims to make federal authorities climate neutral by 2030, which poses significant challenges for the German army (‘Bundeswehr’ in German), especially in meeting efficiency and emissions targets for its building stock and new construction projects, writes Die Tageszeitung’s Björn Müller. The Bundeswehr owns more than 30,000 buildings, and the majority of new federal construction projects are linked to the military. New buildings will require a higher standard of insulation and must include by default features like solar power arrays, geothermal heating systems or electric vehicle charging points to meet the government’s climate targets. “The government’s expanded targets mean that many of the construction projects will require a planning review,” the Bundeswehr’s service agency IUD told the newspaper, adding that the currently difficult market conditions in the construction sector have made accurate predictions about costs and target fulfilment unfeasible.
Chancellor Scholz last year had promised an additional 100 billion euros for the military. A draft by the defence ministry estimates that the price tag for currently planned infrastructure projects of about 24 billion euros could increase by another 20 billion euros if all climate and sustainability targets are fulfilled. Like other federal authorities, the Bundeswehr is expected to table an emissions reduction programme this year, laying out in detail how it plans to achieve decarbonisation.