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25 Feb 2020, 13:38
Rachel Waldholz

Search is on for new “expert council” to monitor German emissions cuts

Handelsblatt

Germany’s new climate action law includes the creation of an expert council to monitor whether the country is meeting its climate targets  – and one big question is who should sit on that panel, write Silke Kersting and Klaus Stratmann in the business daily Handelsblatt. The five-member council, appointed by the federal government, will conduct an annual review of emissions data to determine whether government ministries are meeting climate targets for the sectors they oversee, like transportation or agriculture. The panel will not have the power to force policy changes, but it can review ministry plans and publicise areas where emissions cuts are falling short, a potentially powerful tool. “Critics already speak of a ‘climate police,’” Kersting and Stratmann write. It is not yet known who might sit on the council, but Kersting and Stratmann discuss several names that could be considered, including Barbara Praetorius, who co-chaired the coal commission; Felix Matthes of the Öko-Institut, who also served on the coal commission; University of Münster economist Andreas Löschel; and economist Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Germany's first major national climate law entered into force in December 2019. The Climate Action Law, along with the Climate Action Programme 2030, make up a broad package of policies aimed at putting the country on track towards reaching its climate targets. 

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