05 Dec 2019, 13:08
Benjamin Wehrmann

Industry warns new SPD leaders against tightening Germany's climate package

Clean Energy Wire

The German industry lobby association BDI has warned the new leaders of the governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) against attempting to amend the government's climate package, arguing that the set of laws and measures to put German on track towards reaching its 2030 climate targets "knowingly" threatens the competitiveness of small and medium sized companies already in its current form. "By no means is a tightening of the climate package acceptable for companies," the BDI said, adding that the government should rather strive to enable the industry to make "the necessary billions in investment" for emissions reduction by reducing corporate taxes, facilitating licensing procedures and modernising its digital administration capacities. "We need to stimulate finance and economic policy with respect to new investments in modern mobility infrastructure (…) and climate action for several years. Otherwise our economy will lag far behind its capabilities and nearly cease to grow," the BDI said.
Together with French and Italian industry lobby groups MEDEF and Confindustria, the BDI also launched an appeal to their respective governments as well as to the new EU Commission to bolster Europe's industry. The groups called for making "massive investments in inclusive, sustainable and competition-driven growth" through investments of up to 300 billion euros per year as well as for "solid climate policy and sustainable finance."

The new SPD leaders, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans, had won the party's internal vote for a new leadership last weekend, stunning many observers by beating the competing duo consisting of finance minister and vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz. The left-leaning new leadership has campaigned on a platform of opposition to the current grand coalition with the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and reopening the climate package to tighten regulation as well as changes in other policy areas. However, the pair has been seen as backtracking from its most drastic demands ahead of its official inauguration at a party conference on Friday.

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