18 Jul 2019, 13:43
Julian Wettengel

Industry, transport and buildings associations weigh in on CO₂ pricing ahead of climate cabinet meeting

Clean Energy Wire

Ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet meeting tonight (18 July), various organisations have voiced their positions on CO₂ pricing in Germany.

The joint platform of energy intensive industries in Germany (EID), said CO₂ pricing “must not become a job killer”. Integrating buildings and transport – where abatement costs are comparatively high – into the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) would put a “considerable additional burden” on energy-intensive companies that compete internationally, the EID said. It called on the government to take into account the impact any new CO₂ price might have on companies already covered by the ETS

Sustainable transport association VCD said Germany would not reach its 2030 climate goals without a CO₂ price for the transport sector. It favours a carbon tax, which could be introduced immediately, over emissions trade. “We have to come to a point where climate-friendly mobility is rewarded,” VCD spokesperson Michael Müller-Görnert said. 

Pro-rail alliance Allianz pro Schiene welcomed the climate cabinet’s debate on CO₂ pricing. Managing director Dirk Flege said “climate-friendly mobility must become cheaper, climate-harmful mobility more expensive,” yet rail transport is heavily burdened with taxes and levies. 

Energy efficiency industry association DENEFF said some of the revenue from a CO₂ should be spent on climate and energy efficiency measures. Managing director Christian Noll said a CO₂ price was an important building block for climate action but “additional incentives must be created to invest in energy-saving technologies, and existing market barriers need to be broken down.”

Bio energy associations under the umbrella of Hauptstadtbüro Bioenergie have published a position paper with proposals to reach 2030 climate targets. They want reform of Germany’s energy taxes to be done step-by-step, taking into consideration the CO₂ intensity of different fuels to promote the most climate-friendly and least costly option depending on application.

Having long shied away from the debate, German political leaders are finally considering a price on CO2 to help reach the country's climate targets. Chancellor Merkel set up the climate cabinet to find ways to reach Germany’s 2030 climate targets. The group of ministers is scheduled to debate CO₂ pricing at a meeting on 18 July, and has promised key decisions by September. Major parties and research institutes have pitched their ideas for a carbon price, whether in the shape of a CO2 tax or a trading scheme.

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