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19 May 2020, 14:17
Benjamin Wehrmann

Rebuff of environment advisors' report shows Merkel party's disdain of science – opinion

The governing conservative CDU/CSU alliance has shrugged off concerns by the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) about decisive shortcomings in climate policy, thereby demonstrating that the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel only heeds scientific advice when it suits its interests, Stefan Rahmstorf, head of the department for earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) writes in an opinion piece for Der Spiegel. The conservative alliance last week rebuffed the SRU's major report calling for a clear spelling out of the country's remaining CO2 emissions budget and urging the German government to tighten its reduction targets to remain on track for the Paris Climate Agreement's goals. The alliance argued that the report would be "nit-picking" and losing itself in regulatory details, rather than letting "markets and competition" work out a solution. "Instead of dealing with the report in earnest, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group seeks to discredit the council," Rahmstorf writes. While the government appeared to respect scientific advice by epidemiologists in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems to follow a much more relaxed approach when it comes to climate science, he argues. "The emissions budget means the same for global heating as the infection rate R means for the corona pandemic: it's the decisive figure for the further trajectory," the climate researcher concluded.

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