German government to consider CO2 tax
Clean Energy Wire / Der Spiegel
The federal government plans to task Germany’s Council of Economic Experts with examining the opportunities and risks of a CO2 tax, according to a report by Der Spiegel, cited by dts news agency. dts notes that the economic affairs and energy ministry (BMWi) is currently drawing up questions that will be presented to the council, which will then be expected to issue a report on the matter.
A CO2 tax would allow the government to set a price for greenhouse gas emissions, which would make the use of coal, petrol and heating oil more expensive. Such a move could result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and help Germany meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Council of Economic Experts has in the past argued for the introduction of a single carbon price for the electricity, transport and heating sectors and advised the government to therefore work to expand the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
The debate about a carbon price has picked up over recent weeks in Germany, which according to climate scientist Ottmar Edenhofer is also due to the pressure from the Fridays For Future student climate protests. The student activists were making many politicians "very, very nervous", Edenhofer told an audience of international journalists at the Clean Energy Wire's Global Energy Transition Journalism Conference 2019 in Berlin.