Expert report accuses German transport minister of breaking climate law - media
German transport minister Volker Wissing has been accused of breaking the country's Climate Protection Act in an expert report, newspaper Handelsblatt reports. According to the report compiled by the parliament’s scientific service, the minister from the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) has violated the climate law's requirements with his unambitious proposal for reducing emissions in the transport sector, which missed its reduction targets by three million tonnes of CO2 in 2021. The Climate Protection Act states that Germany must reduce emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and become climate neutral by 2045. According to the law, the responsible minister must present an emergency programme with measures within a few months “that ensures compliance with the sector's annual emission levels for the following years,” Handelsblatt reports. The authors of the report argue that this means the emergency programme should not only attempt to compensate for the missed annual emissions reduction but also incorporate expected missed targets in the future, proposing urgent measures.
Government advisors examined Wissing’s plans to cut transport emissions already in August 2022 and labelled them as “lacking in sufficient ambition even at the outset.” Following criticism regarding insufficient efforts, the transport ministry said that it would include new proposals in the government's overarching climate action programme 2022, which will have to be approved by the full cabinet. However, the issue was postponed in November. Germany's government intends to present a new package of measures for transport in spring. The FDP has said that climate targets should be considered in their entirety and not for each sector individually, according to Handelsblatt.