German coalition’s energy and climate policy dissent continues after government retreat
Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire
The row between Germany’s coalition partners over key climate and energy policies such as industry support shows no sign of letting up despite a two-day retreat earlier this week set up to help resolve some issues. Just one day after the retreat, politicians from the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) have come forward with new proposals on how to give the country’s economy a push, reports Handelsblatt. While the FDP parliamentary group is set to agree a position paper later this week which includes the call for lowering the electricity tax, the Greens claim that such an action is not targeted enough. Support for energy prices should mostly go to energy-intensive industry, and many of these companies were already largely exempt from paying the tax, said party co-head Ricarda Lang. The Green Party leadership agreed on a paper entitled “securing prosperity”, which supports the introduction of a temporary ‘industry power price’ subsidy – a move first tabled by fellow party member and economy minister Robert Habeck – which the FDP rejects. Handelsblatt, meanwhile, writes that the FDP position paper also includes a call to halt the dismantling of Germany’s nuclear power plants and keep the door open for using them in case of supply security issues. The FDP has been a proponent of the technology and has often called for prolonging its use. The Green Party is firmly against using nuclear energy in Germany and was a major driving force behind the country’s nuclear phase-out. The remaining three plants were shut down earlier this year.
The coalition earlier this week ended a week-long row over a package of tax credits for German businesses and additional funding for child allowance. The coalition had also fought for several months over a controversial law to phase out fossil fuel heating. The legislation is set to be debated in parliament next week.