Commission cannot agree how to reduce Germany’s transport emissions
A first draft of the final report by Germany’s transport commission does not include sufficient measures to bring the country’s transport emissions down in line with its 2030 climate targets, Benedikt Becker writes for business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. The report, on which a majority of the commission’s members were able to agree, leaves “a significant gap of 23 million tonnes of CO2” to the sector’s climate target, the draft says. Becker says the agreed measures are those unlikely to upset the public: expanding e-car charging infrastructure, cutting taxes on e-cars for businesses, support for power-to-x fuels, lower public transport fares, and around 900 million euros annually to expand bike lanes. The commission members are said to be divided over whether the remaining emissions reduction should be achieved through higher fuel prices or greater support for synthetic fuels.
Germany is supposed to cut its transport emissions by 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s new climate cabinet, a working group of ministers in charge of areas relevant to climate policy, will make transport a priority, and warned that “tough decisions” affecting the country’s most important industry would have to be made soon. A leaked commission working paper that amongst other things proposed higher fuel prices and a general speed limit on Germany's highways had caused an outcry among conservative media outlets in January, leading transport minister Andreas Scheuer to publicly denounce the group's ideas as “detached from reality” and “running counter to common sense.”