03 Feb 2020, 13:49
Julian Wettengel

German environment minister calls for markup on big, fuel-intensive cars


German environment minister Svenja Schulze is pushing to make large cars with higher fuel use more expensive while lowering the price for electric vehicles, reports news agency dpa. “I think it would be very good if those who buy the big fuel-guzzling cars just pay a little bit more, if they just get a markup,” Schulze told dpa. This could be deducted from the price of smaller cars. One way to introduce such a system could be by amending the motor vehicle tax, writes dpa. As part of its climate package agreement from September 2019, the government decided to better align the tax with cars’ CO₂ emissions, but the finance ministry has yet to present a legislative draft.

Lowering CO2 emissions in transport has become a focus of Germany's landmark energy transition. Rising car numbers and the popularity of heavy SUVs has to a large extent hampered progress from more efficient engines, resulting in the country’s failure to lower CO₂ emissions in the sector over the last 30 years. While Germany's total CO2 emissions  decreased significantly in 2019, transport emissions have risen yet again. Partly as a result of its powerful car industry, which provides employment to more than 800,000 people, Germany is lagging behind many other countries in the shift to green mobility. The UK, France, Norway and Sweden have already committed to phasing out conventional cars by the end of the 2030s. The average emission level of Germany’s car fleet is the highest in Europe.

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