23 Jan 2024, 13:46
Ruby Russel

Key German climate funding programmes reopen after pause

Clean Energy Wire

A pause on funding from Germany’s Climate and Transformation Fund (CTF) has been lifted for programmes under the economy and climate action ministry (BMWK). The option to apply for large parts of the fund, which supports a range of climate protection projects across the country and different sectors of the economy, was temporarily stopped on 1 December, following a landmark decision by the German constitutional court that invoked the country’s limit on state debt. The CTF has now reopened for applications for programmes including industry decarbonisation, the implementation of the hydrogen strategy, and heating decarbonisation. However, the ruling coalition cut the CTF's funds by some 12 billion euros in 2024 (overall 45 billion euros less until 2027) to rein in government spending. 

A ruling by Germany's highest court in November 2023 declared an integral part of the government's funding plan for climate and energy programmes unlawful, dealing a major blow to the coalition of chancellor Olaf Scholz. The court's decision opened a 60 billion euro gap in the special CTF and threw the coalition's funding plans into disarray, causing major uncertainty among policymakers, industry and citizens waiting to implement new projects. The government has now introduced a mix of budget cuts, reshuffling and higher taxes and levies, and promised that key climate action measures will not be affected even if there was now "significantly less money to meet our goals."

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