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16 Apr 2019, 13:59
Julian Wettengel

Decision on CO₂ pricing in Germany by end of the year – Merkel

Clean Energy Wire

[Update adds comment by environment ministry spokesperson]

By the end of 2019, the German government will decide whether to introduce CO pricing to reach its 2030 climate targets, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her weekly video podcast. Germany must make “tremendous efforts” to reach its 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent below 1990 levels, the chancellor said. She added that her government’s move to set up a “climate cabinet” was a measure of the importance of climate protection. “Our goal is to have the legal framework in place by the end of the year to enable us to achieve the 2030 climate targets,” Merkel said, referring to her government’s planned “climate action law.” She said the government would decide on measures to reduce emissions from all relevant sectors – energy, buildings, transport and agriculture – but would debate “whether we will save CO by sector, or whether we will focus more on general CO pricing” over the coming months, and make a decision before the year is out.

A spokesperson for the environment ministry said a CO price should not be seen as an alternative to specific climate action measures in each economic sector. “We don’t see it as an alternative. […] We see it as one part of a necessary programme of measures,” the spokesperson told journalists at a regular government press briefing. 

Prominent CDU party members had previously insisted that a carbon price was not on the government's agenda. But Merkel told parliament last week that the climate cabinet would examine the latest research on CO pricing in the transport and heating sectors. The German government is under pressure to meet the country's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, to avoid costly payments for emission allocations under the European Union’s effort-sharing regulation. It has already set a goal to supply 65 percent of its power consumption with renewables by 2030. Merkel said she would inaugurate the largest offshore wind park in the Baltic Sea – E.ON’s Arkona – this week “and thus make clear how important the expansion of renewable energy is for us.”

The first version of this article was published on Monday, 15 April 2019.

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