24 Apr 2024, 12:09
Julian Wettengel

German parliament to decide controversial climate law reform, but legal challenges loom

Clean Energy Wire / Table.Media

The German parliament (Bundestag) could vote on the highly disputed reform of the country’s climate action law as early as this Friday (26 April), according to the preliminary agenda, but the new text and legislative process might face legal challenges, Table.Media reported. Conservative lawmaker Thomas Heilmann (CDU) criticised that members of parliament must be allowed to hold more hearings and deliberations, and called for postponing the final vote. In addition, Heilmann and environmental NGOs said that the reform weakened German climate action. Lawyer Remo Klinger, who has been involved in climate lawsuits before the constitutional court, told Table.Media that further legal challenges to the law are "likely."

After months of delay, lawmakers from Germany's coalition government had agreed to a reform of the country's climate action law, which would weaken the responsibility of individual ministries to ensure emission reduction targets in their sectors are met. In the future, only the overall climate target for all sectors combined must be reached, ensuring that emissions can be reduced where it is most efficient to do so, the coalition parliamentarians had argued. The agreement was heavily criticised by the energy industry and NGOs, and must now receive the green light in a parliamentary vote.

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