25 Nov 2020, 13:50
Benjamin Wehrmann

Lower Saxony to invest one billion euros in bid to become Germany's 'No.1 climate state'

Clean Energy Wire / Die Welt

Lower Saxony is going to invest one billion euros into a comprehensive climate action programme to make the northern German state the country's "No.1 climate state”. The state government said it will fund 46 individual measures in projects including renewable energy, hydrogen production, building efficiency, agriculture or mobility. "We will take one billion euros to make additional investments that produce tangible progress in climate action, growth and value creation in Lower Saxony," state premier Stephan Weil of the Social Democrats (SPD) said. "We want to become the No.1 climate state," Weil added. The state's economy minister Bernd Althusmann of conservative coalition partner CDU said the coronavirus pandemic had caused "long-term disruption" in many sectors of the economy, which should be seen as an opportunity to initiate a "climate-just transition" to a post-pandemic economy. He argued the state would not try to impose climate action but rather support those who attempt to reduce their impact to show that "climate action can be an engine for growth and innovation”. The programme would be monitored and amended continuously before being integrated into the state's planned climate law, the government said.

According to a report in the newspaper Die Welt, about 550 million euros used for the climate initiative will come from a special fund to weather the coronavirus crisis that was set up earlier this year. Green Party politician Imke Byl criticised the state government's announcement, arguing it would merely be a "collection of measures that were planned a long time ago and a few new ones."

The coastal state is leading Germany's wind power production, boasting both the largest on- and offshore turbine fleet of all 16 states and also has sought to pioneer in green hydrogen production.

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