17 May 2021, 13:31
Charlotte Nijhuis

German Free Democrats call for strict CO2 budget in election programme

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) is putting a market-centered approach to climate policy at the heart of its federal election campaign. The party is calling for a strict CO2 budget, which would be achieved through “a comprehensive emissions trading system” according to the election programme presented on Sunday. The EU emission trading system should be extended to all sectors and across countries as quickly as possible in order to achieve climate protection "in a market-based and scientifically secure manner," the party writes. The Free Democrats largely reject government regulations as a means of achieving climate goals, and oppose speed limits, driving bans and a ban on combustion engines. Instead, the party wants to use the “inventive spirit of scientists, technicians and engineers” to combat climate change as well as invest in the digitalisation of the energy transition. The party programme also proposes a sort of “climate dividend”, whereby revenues from CO2 pricing are paid out directly to citizens.

According to a recent survey, two thirds of Germans want to see significant political changes and more than 60 percent are in favour of a comprehensive change of government, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports. Of the more than 1000 people surveyed, over 55 percent say changes in environmental and climate protection policy are most important. 

Germany will head to the ballot box to elect a new federal parliament on 26 September, deciding which party will lead the next coalition government and therefore shape the country’s climate and energy policy. The Green Party has been leading national polls in recent days, surpassing the conservative CDU/CSU bloc and being trailed in third place by the SPD. The Free Democrats are currently polling at around ten percent.

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