28 May 2019, 13:25
Julian Wettengel

Germany's governing coalition spars over climate law ahead of climate cabinet meeting


As German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet is set to meet for the second time this week, her conservative CDU/CSU alliance has criticised Social Democratic (SPD) environment minister Svenja Schulze for sending the draft of her controversial Climate Action Law to other ministers for coordination without the chancellery’s consent, reports Tagesschau. The CDU/CSU’s deputy parliamentary group leader Georg Nüßlein called the surprise move “a transparent, panic-driven manoeuvre and clear foul play,“ a hasty reaction to the SPD’s poor results in this weekend’s European elections. He said Schulze’s draft opens the door to “a climate planning economy. We will not support this.” By starting the inter-ministerial consultation, which precedes a cabinet decision, Schulze increases pressure on the conservative CDU/CSU union.

Schulze  presented a draft Climate Action Law in mid-February, which was met with criticism from its CDU/CSU coalition partner as it aims to enshrine existing CO₂ reduction targets for each economic sector into law and hold the individual ministries financially responsible. Angela Merkel’s chancellery has not released the draft for inter-ministerial coordination, and Schulze decided to sidestep common practice. Germany is under pressure to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, and Merkel’s government promised in its coalition agreement to introduce legislation by the end of 2019 to make sure the country reaches its climate targets. To end the deadlock within the government, Merkel has set up the so-called climate cabinet, a group of ministers with key responsibilities for climate issues, which is to come up with climate action proposals by the end of the year. It will meet for the second time this week (29 May), and ministers are expected to deliver first sets of proposals for climate action measures in the individual economic sectors.

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