German govt coalition continues to disagree over landlord share of CO2 price
An agreement by the government coalition to split the extra costs from Germany’s new carbon price for heating fuels 50:50 between landlords and tenants is in jeopardy after the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group said it is not supporting this solution, reports Tagesschau. “Passing on half of the CO2 consumption costs to landlords is a fundamental breach of the polluter pays principle,” argued the group’s legal and consumer protection affairs spokesperson Jan-Marco Luczak. He sees the aim of the CO2 price in changing the behaviour of those who consume energy. Environment minister Svenja Schulze (Social Democrats, SPD), who fought for the agreement, and lawmakers from other parties say that tenants have no power over the kind of heating system available in their flat, and that the responsibility should be shared. The Greens’ parliamentary group head Anton Hofreiter said: “Climate action does not mean freezing in winter, but modern renewable heating systems and energy-efficient renovation. This is not the responsibility of the tenants, but of the landlords.”
The government coalition had agreed just weeks ago that landlords and tenants would share 50:50 the costs from the new carbon price for heating fuels, but criticism from conservatives led to new discussions. Tagesschau now reported that the involved ministries agreed the details earlier this week, but a decision in the cabinet was postponed. The national emissions trading system began on 1 January with a fixed price of 25 euros per tonne of CO2, which translates into a price increase of around 7 cents per litre of petrol, 8 cents per litre of diesel, 8 cents per litre of heating oil and 0.6 cents more per kilowatt hour of natural gas.