Finance ministry: no plans to introduce a CO₂ price, environment ministry says “no priority”
Germany’s finance ministry, led by Social Democrat (SPD) Olaf Scholz, has rejected environment minister Svenja Schulze’s (also SPD) plan to work on a national price on CO₂ emissions in Germany, which would include sectors such as heating and transport. “There are no considerations to introduce a CO₂ tax or a new CO₂ price and to increase the burden on citizens,” said finance ministry spokesperson Dennis Kolberg at a government press conference. Regine Zylka, spokesperson for the environment ministry, said that the development of such a concept is just starting and would take a lot of time. “This is not a priority at the moment,” said Zylka, and added: “Of course, our in-house experts will also coordinate their work with the experts from the Federal Ministry of Finance.” Schulze had announced plans to team up with fellow Social Democrat Scholz regarding a CO₂ price during a keynote speech about her priorities as minister. In the days that followed, German mass-daily Bild reported that such a price on CO₂ could make petrol and heating oil more expensive. The parliamentary group of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance rejected Schulze’s plan. Germany’s federal state environment ministers, however, called on the federal government to draw up a proposal in line with constitutional and European law on how CO₂-intensive fossil fuels can be made more expensive and, in return, electricity produced from renewable sources can be made cheaper. The Social Democratic Party, meanwhile, organised a “debate camp” over the weekend – a conference to discuss “ideas for the renewal of the party”. A session on CO₂ pricing was met with “huge interest”, writes the SPD in a press release.
For background, read the CLEW article German env minister plans CO₂ price concept to boost climate action.