The time for waiting it out on climate action is over – opinion
The expectations towards German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new ‘climate cabinet’ are high, and the federal government “cannot afford to fail” in taking the right steps now for the ecologic transformation of the economy, writes Silke Kersting in an opinion piece in Handelsblatt. “Angela Merkel seems to have understood the signal,” she writes. “Whether it’s about the coal commission, transport commission or climate cabinet: the chancellor is involved everywhere, apparently gripped by the ambition to polish up her faded reputation as climate chancellor at the end of her term in office.” Merkel has said her government cabinet wants to decide law proposals by the end of the year. “In view of the challenges, this is quite ambitious. The time for waiting it out is definitely over,” writes Kersting.
In a first “very constructive” meeting, the newly set-up climate cabinet, consisting of government members relevant for Germany’s climate policy, decided on a general timeline to work out law proposals to ensure Germany reaches its 2030 climate targets. Germany, the country of the Energiewende, has agreed to reduce emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and the government in 2016 divided this goal into sector-specific climate targets with the Climate Action Plan 2050. The first draft of a Climate Action Law by environment minister Svenja Schulze was designed to map a clear pathway for all sectors to achieve this goal. The proposed law that is currently being reviewed by the chancellery would assign each ministry financial responsibility for failure to comply with emission reduction targets – an approach that is heavily opposed by Schulze’s fellow conservative ministers.