Germans want their country to take climate leadership during EU presidency – survey
Clean Energy Wire
Climate action tops the wish list of German citizens for their government during its forthcoming EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020, a survey commissioned by the Green Party-affiliated Heinrich-Böll-Foundation has found. With over 41 percent approval, furthering climate action was the most important objective for the German EU presidency for more than 5,000 respondents asked in January this year, ahead of migration (38.6%) and strengthening the rule of law and democracy (30.1%). With respect to concrete political projects, most respondents said they wish for the introduction of European tax on digital companies (39%), followed by an increase of the EU's emissions reduction target (33.2%) and the introduction of a common European military (27.1%). "The expectations on Germany's EU Council Presidency are high – both at home and by its EU partners," the foundation says. Over 95 percent of respondents said they would endorse higher payments by their country to make progress in given policy areas, including research, climate and environmental action and social security.
Germany looks set to play a key role in international climate diplomacy in 2020 while EU member states are facing tough talks on how to increase the bloc-wide 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target in time for the planned UN COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. Many see the preceding EU-China summit in Leipzig in September as an opportunity for the two regions to announce more ambitious policies. The surging threat posed by the coronavirus in March has, however, confounded the European political agenda, with some observers speculating whether major policy events scheduled for the second half of the year can take place as planned.