German govt coalition members at odds over energy and climate ambitions – report
Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire
Members of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU party alliance have voiced concerns about the chancellor's endorsement of a raised 2030 EU climate target, writes Klaus Stratmann in the Handelsblatt. "One may well ask whether a tightening of targets is appropriate in view of the coronavirus crisis," Georg Nüßlein, deputy leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told the newspaper. As the "last remaining genuine industrial country" in Europe, Germany could not achieve an emissions reduction beyond the current target of 55 percent without risking "massive relocation of CO2-intensive production," he warned. Handelsblatt writes that the CDU/CSU parliamentary group is expected to adopt a paper next week, which will call for a new allocation of greenhouse gas reduction contributions among member states in the EU Effort Sharing mechanism in case the European target is raised.
Meanwhile, members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the junior member in the governing coalition, called for combining the coronavirus recovery with ambitious energy and climate policy and warned against putting climate targets into question in the face of the pandemic. In a position paper seen by the Clean Energy Wire, MPs Johann Saathoff and Bernd Westphal wrote that the CDU/CSU is "preventing a sustainable energy transition" and called on the conservatives to let go of "old technologies", as holding on to these inhibited innovative solutions and thus hurt the German economy. They added that the country must immediately align the expansion paths of renewable energies with the target of 65 percent share in power consumption by 2030. This, they argue, is being blocked by the CDU/CSU as it insists on nationwide minimum distance regulations for onshore wind turbines to the nearest settlements.
Angela Merkel has come out in favour of raising the European Union’s 2030 climate target to between 50 and 55 percent. Although Germany's current 2030 climate target already aims to reduce greenhouse gases by about 57 percent, compared to 1990, the EU's effort sharing scheme, which gives rich countries higher responsibilities for reduction, would likely lead the country to have to raise this target.