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26 Mar 2019, 13:20
Benjamin Wehrmann

Industry says it will need public funds to abide by German's planned climate law

Handelsblatt

[Update adds details on launch of environment ministry’s investment support programme.]

Germany’s industrial sector fears the investment in energy efficiency it will have to make under the planned Climate Action Law, Silke Kersting and Klaus Stratmann report for Handelsblatt. Energy-intensive companies, such as steel and glass manufacturers, are calling for financial support to decarbonise their production processes. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, state secretary in the environment ministry (BMU), has already acknowledged that companies will probably not be able to fund the necessary modernisation alone and require “considerable public funds”. The German government will therefore make available 45 million euros for investments to decarbonise industry starting immediately, the ministry announced in a press release. The funds are meant to kick-start innovations. “This makes climate action a driver of innovation for the economy, and it makes the industrial location Germany future-proof,” said state secretary Jochen Flasbarth. Companies say the funds supplied through the programme will not nearly be enough, writes Handelsblatt.

Germany's environment ministry is calling for an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal of “at least 95 percent” by the year 2050 compared to 1990, in a draft of the highly anticipated Climate Action Law. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has said the planned law must not only prescribe CO₂ emissions reduction, but secure social acceptance, technical feasibility and Germany’s competitiveness. The environment ministry also announced it is working on a general long-term support directive for the decarbonisation of industry, and will open a centre on climate action in energy-intensive industries in Cottbus in 2019.

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