28 Feb 2019, 14:05
Benjamin Wehrmann

Senior Conservative says proposed Climate Action Law would “paralyse” Germany


The Climate Action Law proposed by Germany’s environment ministry is “a planned economy approach” that could “paralyse the country without making progress on climate action,” Georg Nüßlein, deputy parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance said in an interview with the Tageszeitung (taz). Adding to previous conservative criticism of the initiative, Nüßlein said the law proposed by Social Democrat (SPD) Environment Minister Svenja Schulze didn’t allow ministries enough “flexibility” on how to achieve emissions cuts and amounted to “passing the buck to someone else by setting targets.” He argued that the only way to bring down emissions was to “support innovation” and that “coercion and abstinence,” would make dangerous changes to the market economy and provoke revolt against measures, for example in transport, that affected people’s daily lives. “I will be on the side of those revolting,” Nüßlein said.

Schulzes’s draft law aims to ensure the country becomes CO2 neutral by mid-century, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement and promised in the SPD-CDU/CSU government’s coalition treaty. The bill sets out emissions budgets for different economic sectors, which government ministries are then responsible for achieving through concrete measures triggering amendments to existing legislation. If a sector misses its annual target, meaning Germany has to buy emissions allocations from other countries, the responsible ministry would have to cover these costs.

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