04 Aug 2021, 12:27
Julian Wettengel

German economics professors want more EU climate action – survey

FAZ / Clean Energy Wire

Forty-one percent of economics professors said the EU should do more on climate, according to a survey by the Institute for Economic Research (ifo), writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Twenty-seven percent of the 171 economists at German universities said the EU climate policy is appropriate, and 20 percent said “less should be done”. A majority of respondents is opposed to expanding the European Central Bank’s (ECB) mandate – which has so far been primarily geared towards monetary stability – to include the EU goal of achieving climate neutrality by the middle of the century, writes FAZ. The newspaper commissioned the latest economists' panel, a regular survey of economics professors at German-speaking universities conducted by the ifo. “The results make clear that the German government must respond to the EU's new climate policy,” said Karen Pittel, head of the ifo Centre for Climate and Resources. “If the new EU emissions trading system is introduced, the national CO₂ price should be abolished or at least fundamentally reformed,” she said about the new national carbon price on transport and heating fuels. The European Commission has proposed a similar EU-wide system. In the survey, 68 percent of respondents call for the existing EU emissions trading to be extended to heat and transport. Only 17 percent support the current EU plans to first establish a parallel system at European level.

The European Commission's comprehensive proposal to get the bloc on track for its new 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent – the “Fit for 55” package – includes a new emissions trading system for transport and buildings, a sales ban on polluting cars from 2035, more ambitious renewables expansion plans, and a carbon border price on imported goods. The presentation on 14 July kicked off what could be several years of difficult negotiations among member states and the European Parliament before the final reforms are adopted. The proposed changes would heavily influence national policies and the lives of citizens across the European Union.

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Sven Egenter

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