06 Aug 2021, 13:18
Charlotte Nijhuis

German election manifestos not in line with 2045 net-zero target – climate economist


None of the German parties’ election manifestos is in line with the country’s goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2045, climate economist at the ifo Institute Karen Pittel said in an interview with Handelsblatt. Although the programmes mention the issue of climate protection frequently, none of them shows “reliable ways” to achieve net-zero by 2045 or reduce emissions by 65 percent by 2030, Pittel tells the newspaper. She adds that “an honest analysis is missing” from the programmes, for example when it comes to the issue of the CO2 price, which she says should be raised significantly. Parties shy away from implementing the necessary CO2 price because “they do not dare to be completely honest with people about the financial burdens of climate protection”, she says. “More information should be provided here instead of watering down the CO2 price.” What is also missing from the party’s plans are ways to not only demand but also achieve higher renewables expansion targets, as well as pursue goals of climate protection and nature conservation at the same time, Pittel says. Another point that goes unmentioned is the internalisation of external costs beyond climate in energy taxation. “It is crucial to reform energy taxation in such a way that the consumption of resources and the burden on the environment caused by pollutants are actually realistically reflected in energy taxes. But the parties say next to nothing about this.”

Germany will head to the ballots to elect a new federal parliament on 26 September. Since the previous election in 2017, climate and energy have consistently moved up among voter priorities, and most parties attempt to reflect that in their manifestos. However, the programmes have been criticised for their lack of proposals for instruments and measures to reach climate and energy targets.

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