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23 Jun 2021, 13:21
Charlotte Nijhuis

Government overturns agreement to relieve tenants of CO2 price burden

dpa / Handelsblatt

An agreement by the government coalition to split the extra costs from Germany’s new carbon price on heating fuels 50:50 between landlords and tenants has failed at the last moment, Handelsblatt writes, citing news agency dpa. Tenants will now need to continue bearing the additional costs caused by the CO2 price on oil and gas that was introduced on 1 January. The CDU/CSU refuses to include landlords in the sharing of the costs, arguing that they have no influence on tenants’ heating usage. "Sharing the additional CO2 costs between tenants and landlords would be counterproductive, as the CO2 price is intended to control behaviour. In other words, it should be worthwhile for the consumer to consume less CO2," Thorsten Frei, vice chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told dpa. The decision leaves a “bitter taste,” said SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. “Now the tenants alone will have to bear the additional costs. This is not how we imagine social climate protection.”

The agreement to split the burden of the CO2 price was supposed to be part of the emergency climate programme that will be passed in the cabinet on 23 June. The tenant clause is now being omitted, according to the report. In mid-May, the government agreed that landlords and tenants would share the costs of the carbon price, but criticism from conservatives led to new discussions. The national emissions trading system began on 1 January with a fixed price of 25 euros per tonne of CO2, which translates into a price increase of around 7 cents per litre of petrol, 8 cents per litre of diesel, 8 cents per litre of heating oil and 0.6 cents more per kilowatt hour of natural gas.

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