Merkel summons transport commission leaders to ensure progress on climate goals
Süddeutsche Zeitung / Handelsblatt
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel summoned the leaders of the country’s transport commission and several cabinet members to make sure the body tasked with making proposals for bringing down emissions in the sector stays on schedule and delivers its report by the end of March, Markus Balser writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the transport ministry, the report will be tabled on 29 March and is not going to be postponed. A postponement was briefly suggested after a leaked draft caused an outcry by transport minister Andreas Scheuer and parts of the media over suggestions such as introducing a speed limit on the German Autobahn and increasing fuel prices.
Party leaders Andrea Nahles, of the Social Democrats (SPD), and Markus Söder, of the conservative CSU, both told newspaper Handelsblatt they expect the commission will make a clear commitment to preserving Germany’s status as a leading carmaker nation. “We have to challenge the car companies – but we must not overstrain them,” Nahles said. Söder called for supporting all kinds of alternative fuels, a “national battery centre” and “model cities” for autonomous driving. According to Handelsblatt, the commission is likely to call for up to 200 billion euros for subsidies for e-cars and investments in more climate-friendly public and individual transport options.
The transport commission’s results are supposed to be incorporated in a set of measures linked to Germany’s planned Climate Action Law, which is slated for introduction still in 2019. Like the ministries for all other climate-relevant sectors, the transport ministry is tasked with making suggestions how it intends to contribute to fulfilling the country’s emissions reduction obligations.