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Innovations and a globally coordinated approach are also decisive.

Use money for climate policy

There is currently the “historic opportunity to change the fragmented, expensive and inefficient German climate policy in such a way that the focus is on the pricing of CO2,” explained Schmidt. According to the economic researchers, Germany can serve as an international role model for the containment of climate change in that the Federal Republic of Germany shows that the climate targets “can be achieved in an economically efficient manner and without major social distortions”.

Specifically, the economic wise men are in favor of setting up a cross-sector uniform price for greenhouse gas emissions. The primary goal should be an expansion of the European emissions trading, which has so far applied to the energy sector and parts of industry, to all sectors. As a transitional solution, a separate emissions trading system or a CO2 tax would be available for sectors that have not yet come under the European regulation.

Basically, the goal of CO2 pricing is “to achieve an efficient control effect in order to reduce greenhouse gases through behavioral adjustments”. The additional income from this should be “redistributed”. “A flat fee per capita or an electricity tax cut could be socially balanced,” the researchers explained. Adjustments in behavior could facilitate accompanying measures, such as bonuses for exchanging heating systems.

Merkel: “Sound basis”

Merkel called the special report that the Federal Government commissioned from the Council of Experts to assess macroeconomic developments as a “sound basis”. At the same time, the pricing of CO2 is a “very complex” topic, she added, with a view to embedding it in the international context and social aspects.

She welcomed the fact that the economic wise men were encouraging the federal government to “go market-based” and not just rely on regulatory measures. At the same time there will be “broad discussions” and “no easy decisions”, Merkel was convinced.

Next Thursday the climate cabinet wants to deal with a price for CO2 emissions, in September the federal government wants to make a fundamental decision on concrete climate protection measures. 

Climate crisis: Union politicians present CO2 price concept

 Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) presented three reports a week ago and emphasized the need for CO2 pricing in the areas of transport and heating. The researchers rely on a “climate bonus” to reward climate-friendly behavior and at the same time to relieve low and normal wage earners as much as possible. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) and other Union politicians reject Schulze’s plans for a CO2 price.

Sources used: news agencies AFP and dpa

The CSU is currently working on its climate concept. She wants to make rail travel more attractive. Party leader Markus Söder explains in an interview how this should work.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has spoken out in favor of lower VAT on train tickets. He did not want to tell anyone whether he should fly or take the train, said the CSU head of “Welt am Sonntag”. But he wants to make rail travel so attractive that the plane no longer has to be used for short trips. 

In order to make rail travel cheaper, the tickets should be “exempt from VAT as much as possible,” demanded Söder. Currently there is not even the reduced VAT rate of 7 instead of 19 percent. “It can’t stay that way.”

New routes are to be created

Söder also spoke out in favor of paning and building “new railway lines” faster. “It just takes too long before new routes are built in Germany. We need more rail and acceleration laws for routes,” said Söder of “Welt am Sonntag”.

Most recently, the Greens had also called for a reduction in VAT on train tickets in order to make rail journeys more attractive with a view to better climate protection. 

example of argumentative essay about aggressive driving Climate concept: CSU wants different vehicle taxes and more expensive domestic flights Everyday tips: What everyone can do for the climateClimate crisis: Time is running out – but must not

 The CSU wants to adopt its climate concept at the beginning of September, of which the rail advance will be part. The focus is also on vehicle tax. In the opinion of the CSU, it should in future no longer be primarily based on the displacement, but rather have a “significantly higher CO2 component”, as CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt had told “Münchner Merkur”. Domestic flights are said to be more expensive

Sources used: AFP news agencies, dpa “Welt am Sonntag”: Interview with Markus Söder

Berlin (dpa) – The SPD in the Bundestag accuses the CDU and CSU of not following up their words on climate protection.

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“We can no longer afford to preach climate protection on Sunday and block concrete implementation during the week,” said SPD parliamentary deputy Matthias Miersch of the German press agency.

For example, the climate protection law presented by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) is “flatly rejected”. Miersch called on the ministers of the CDU and CSU to “end the cherry-picking and finally submit effective proposals for a coherent and effective overall concept”.

In just over a month – on September 20 – the so-called climate cabinet of the federal government wants to decide on a package of measures so that Germany can meet national and internationally binding climate targets. Specifically, the debate is primarily about a CO2 price, which is intended to make emissions of the climate-damaging greenhouse gas more expensive in traffic and heating. In return, citizens should be relieved.

It is controversial between the Union and the SPD how exactly CO2 pricing can look like. SPD Environment Minister Schulze had proposed a tax on climate-damaging carbon dioxide as an increase in energy taxes for diesel, gasoline, heating oil and natural gas. The Union prefers national trading in emission rights for the areas of transport and heating.

At the weekend, CDU boss Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed, among other things, a scrapping premium for old oil heating systems and again called for a “national climate consensus”. There are also demands from the Union for the restructuring of the vehicle tax and greater commitment to reforestation in Germany.

Ex-Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer (CDU) called for a reform of the tax system based on ecological principles. “The whole energy control system has emerged largely climate-blind over time. That has to change urgently,” said the long-time head of the UN environmental program of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. He recalled that investments in green energy have led to high electricity taxes – although green electricity is the carrier of climate policy. “The taxes paid on electricity must fall, others rise accordingly,” he demanded.

At the weekend, Kramp-Karrenbauer suggested promoting climate protection through tax reform. Among other things, she suggested a scrapping bonus for oil heating systems. At the moment there is still state funding for particularly efficient oil heating systems.

The promotional bank KfW supported their installation last year with 574 million euros, said a bank spokeswoman for the “Rheinische Post”. With 47,117 funding commitments, the heating package is the “clear front runner” among the individual structural measures for which the development bank grants investment grants or loans. According to the newspaper, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (Bafa) is also promoting climate-friendly heating systems with high grants of up to 15,000 euros, which can be combined with KfW aid.

In autumn the federal government wants to present concrete plans for more climate protection. Research Minister Karliczek wants to set a good example when it comes to domestic flights.

In the climate debate, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek joined demands for fewer domestic flights by politicians. The CDU politician told the German Press Agency that it would not be possible to avoid every flight in the future because many diaries, including those of politicians, are tightly knit. “However, everyone has to think about when they can personally do something for a good future in the future. I am happy to join.” The best way to save CO2 is to travel that doesn’t have to take place.

In July it became known that the employees of the federal ministries and their subordinate authorities had completed almost 230,000 domestic flights in the past year – many of them between Bonn and Berlin because the ministries have offices in both cities. The Environment Committee of the Bundestag had then announced that it would reduce air travel in the future and rely more on video conferences.

New attractive offers from the railways

According to the words of the CDU politician Andreas Jung, chairman of the CDU regional group in Baden-Württemberg in the Bundestag, a possible reduction in value added tax for the railways must be reflected in the price structure for passengers. The discharge must be passed on in full to the customer, said the Union parliamentary deputy in the Bundestag of the German press agency. “That has to be reflected in the tickets.”

Rail boss Richard Lutz had previously made it clear that such relief could not only be reflected in the ticket prices, but also “in the form of new attractive offers”. That would also “create additional scope for further investments in our vehicle fleet”. This could mean that the tickets would not be cheaper to the full extent of the relief.

“It’s a challenge, but we will pass it”

Karliczek also called for more optimism with regard to climate change. The climatic changes are indeed a threat and the dangers cannot be averted for free. “But maybe we should change our tone,” demanded the minister. You have to face the challenge courageously and with confidence. Germany has the knowledge and skills to provide the right answers to climate change through innovations. “It’s a challenge, but we will do it. That has to be our attitude.”

Karliczek’s party colleague, Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, had accused the federal government of scaring people with their climate protection plans. The acceptance of climate protection measures among the people will depend on the fact that the pollution caused by CO2 pricing is fair, said Karliczek. They would have to be socially balanced. “In doing so, particular attention must be paid to life in rural areas. Very many citizens there are dependent on the car. That must be taken into account when calculating CO2 prices.”

Introduction of a CO2 price possible

The federal government’s climate cabinet plans to adopt a package of specific climate protection measures on September 20 to ensure that Germany makes faster progress in saving greenhouse gases. It is possible that a so-called CO2 price will be introduced, which will make carbon dioxide emissions and thus heating or driving more expensive. On the other hand, there should be relief. 

Last year: Ministries and authorities booked 229,000 domestic flights Transport policy: CSU boss Söder wants to make train tickets cheaper Climate concept: CSU wants different vehicle taxes and more expensive domestic flights

 “Climate change will cause considerable costs, regardless of whether we take committed action against it or let things take their course,” said Research Minister Karliczek. The price for society will be many times higher if one does not act decisively.

Sources used: dpa news agency

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