More than 700 German companies call for next government to cut fossil fuel subsidies
Clean Energy Wire
More than 700 companiess are demanding an end to fossil fuel subsidies in Germany in an effort to boost fairer competition and secure the country status as a business-friendly location. The companies, including waste management group Remondis, control and automation systems manufacturer Mahlo and cosmetics producer Weleda, are calling on Germany’s next federal government to dismantle climate-damaging subsidies. An initiative of sustainable business NGOs Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS) and Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft (BNW), the appeal is aimed at protecting Germany’s position as an attractive business location, ending market distortions and protecting the climate. To that end, it’s promotes a market-based climate policy that creates fair competition, increases planning security for private and corporate investments and supports market position of sustainable, climate-positive solutions and technologies. The appeal’s five concrete demands include:
- Raising the price of diesel
- Taxing aviation fuel and plane tickets
- Limiting carbon leakage protection to companies that are actually burdened by CO2 pricing
- Aligning industry exemptions for energy costs with climate protection
- Limiting official state and government cars to only zero-emission vehicles
"It is time to get serious about reducing climate-damaging subsidies,” said FÖS head Carolin Schenuit. “Two of the three negotiating parties have this measure in their election programs, more than 85 percent of the population support it, as do large parts of the economy, as our appeal shows. Now we have to turn it into concrete policy."
Germany spent more than 65 billion euros on environmentally harmful subsidies in 2018, with the majority going into energy and transport, according to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Critics see the transition to a new government as an ideal opportunity to reduce these handouts and instead use the money for climate-friendly investments.