“Reduction of subsidies detrimental to the environment still stalling”
Germany in 2012 provided 57 billion euros in subsidies that were detrimental to the environment, of which more than 90 percent were harmful to the climate, according to a report by Federal Environment Agency (UBA). “It’s paradoxical: Germany commits itself to more climate protection on an international level. At the same time, in our own country, we reward behaviour that is detrimental to the climate with tax money,” said UBA president Maria Krautzberger in a press release. Transport received the largest share of harmful subsidies with 28.6 billion euros, followed by the energy sector with 20.3 billion euros. UBA criticises that lignite profited from tax benefits despite not facing international competition. UBA for the first time classifies VAT reductions for animal products as subsidies detrimental to the environment. It says that the VAT on those products should be raised from 7 percent to the usual 19 percent, freeing money to make fruits and vegetables or public transport cheaper.