Legal opinion finds German national carbon pricing system constitutional
A legal opinion commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has concluded that the German government’s Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG) does not violate the constitution, Tagesspiegel Background reports. The law, which has increased consumers’ fuel bills by several cents per litre since 2021, is a non-tax levy and meets the requirements for this type of charge, law firm Lindenpartners found. "Particular attention is paid to the question of whether a state management system within the meaning of the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court can also be assumed in the case of a sale at fixed prices," the firm said. "The legal opinion comes to the conclusion that the introduction of charges for emission allowances is justified by a special objective reason."
Previous legal opinions have expressed doubts over the legality of the charges. The liberal Free Democrats (FDP), who now make up part of the coalition government, made similar accusations when in opposition.