CO2 price, airline ticket tax and wind turbines: the federal states want to change many aspects of the grand coalition’s climate package.
It was mainly the resistance of the greens in the countries that could shake the tight schedule of union and SPD for the many climate protection decisions. Baden-wurttemberg’s minister president winfried kretschmann said in the bundesrat on friday that what the federal government had presented was "neither fast nor effective enough". All the greens involved in government rejected the proposed CO2 price as too low and therefore ineffective.
Other heads of state, such as volker bouffier (CDU) from hesse and peter tschentscher (SPD) from hamburg, have also raised concerns. But no one got as emotional as kretschmann on behalf of the greens. The 71-year-old said it was difficult for him not to abandon his customary, sober tone in the bundesrat. It is "important that everyone finally understands the scale of the climate crisis," he raged, because the reality of global warming is outstripping the predictions.
It was the first time that the bundesrat officially discussed proposals by the black-red federal government on climate protection. However, the state chamber is not to vote until the end of november. Since the greens are in government in 9 out of 16 states, they can block and delay decisions. The coalition’s timetable is tight: many of the projects are to clear all the hurdles this year, including the bundesrat (upper house of parliament).
Federal environment minister svenja schulze referred to the UN climate summit in madrid on december 2. Up to 13. December, at which germany could make a credible appearance if its climate protection legislation was "courageous and determined. Federal government and bundesrat want to make conference a success, said SPD politician. "And for that we need clarity quickly on the legislative procedures here in germany."The coalition has presented the most comprehensive climate package that has ever existed in germany, and if necessary, improvements will be made.
The CDU/CSU and SPD had been wrangling for months over the "climate protection program 2030," which consists of many parts: a CO2 price is to make gasoline, natural gas and heating oil more expensive, the purchase premium for electric cars is to be increased, the climate-friendly renovation of houses and the replacement of old oil heating systems are to be demanded more strongly. Key points agreed by coalition leaders and federal ministers in september.
The program aims to ensure that germany meets its 2030 climate targets. Greenhouse gas emissions are then to be 55 percent below the 1990 level. Actually, 40 percent reduction is supposed to be achieved by 2020, but it will probably only be around 33 percent.
Most of the building blocks of the climate package can only be slowed down, not prevented by the bundesrat. However, a collection of plans must be approved, including lowering the value-added tax on rail tickets, increasing the commuter tax allowance from the 21st century, and the introduction of a new tax system. Kilometers and the tax requirement for climate-friendly renovation of residential buildings. When the federal government and the lander seek compromises in the mediation committee, other areas could also be put on the table as bargaining chips.
Bouffier called for the "entire package" to be considered. Germany must lead the way and take other countries with it. Therefore, climate protection had to be done wisely, prosperity and the cohesion of society had to be preserved.
With an eye on germany’s largest airport in frankfurt am main, bouffier criticized the planned increase in the tax on airline tickets, saying the tax would be "misused" to bring money into the treasury. Hamburg’s mayor, peter tschentscher (SPD), announced the states’ claims to the billions in revenue from the new CO2 price.
From the north came strong criticism of the federal government’s planned regulation that in future there should be a distance of at least one kilometer between wind turbines and settlements. Lower saxony’s environment minister olaf lies (SPD) called it an "elementary wrong signal", schleswig-holstein’s energy transition minister jan philipp albrecht (grune) said acceptance could be achieved without rigid distances. In a motion, the bundesrat called uniform minimum distances "not goal-oriented" criticized. The already faltering expansion of onshore wind power could be additionally hindered.