Germany's proposed climate law to create certainty for businesses - op-ed
The Climate Action Law proposed by Germany’s environment minister would not only help the climate, but also companies, writes environmental scientist Sebastian Helgenberger of the IASS Potsdam in a commentary for Zeit Online. The law would provide a clear roadmap for German business and investors, Helgenberger says, allowing them to invest with confidence. “What is criticised by the opponents of the proposal is in fact an important and good signal for companies: The minister's draft sets out in binding and clear steps what each individual sector must contribute,” Helgenberger writes. “For the first time, this will provide a reliable framework for investment in the energy, automotive and other sectors.” The climate law sends a clear signal to executives, Helgenberger argues, and without this regulatory nudge, the German energy and auto industries risk losing out to competitors in the US and China on the technologies of the future. The proposed law would allow Germany to reclaim its role as a climate leader, Helgenberger writes: “Should the law be passed in a form that is as strong as proposed by Minister Schulze, then the grand coalition would have given Germany an astonishingly forward-looking legacy.”
Environment minister Schulzes’s draft law aims to ensure the country becomes CO2 neutral by mid-century, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement and promised in the SPD-CDU/CSU government’s coalition treaty. However, some of the business-oriented politicians of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU alliance have rejected the law as have conservative media commentators and the business-friendly FDP opposition party, claiming the draft law followed a "planned economy" approach.