News Digest Item
28 Sep 2018

Greens want climate protection included in German Basic Law

Clean Energy Wire

The Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag has introduced a draft law that would make international climate goals and obligations, as well as the nuclear exit, binding under German Basic Law. In a plenary debate, Green group leader Anton Hofreiter said that the German government has committed to climate protection, but is the world leader in burning lignite and will miss its 2020 climate targets. “Anchoring climate protection in German Basic Law would lead to clarity and planning security” and help reach climate goals. Philipp Amthor of the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group called the draft law “purely symbolic policy” that would in reality not make a difference. German Basic Law already states that “the state is also responsible for protecting the natural foundations of life for future generations”, and the Paris Climate Agreement has already been incorporated into the country’s legal system. Nina Scheer of the Social Democrats said she is open to further discussing the question in committee, but warned that binding international agreements with German Basic Law could also have a negative effect, should the agreements themselves be weakened at some point. A two-thirds majority is necessary both in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat (council of federal state governments) to amend German Basic Law.

Find the draft law in German here and the protocol in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change and the factsheet From ideas to laws – how Energiewende policy is shaped.

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