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U-Turn: German Christian Democrats Ditch Carbon Tax

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Spiegel Online

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU), has bowed to pressure by the party’s business wing: The CDU will not accept a carbon tax, according to information by SPIEGEL magazine.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) will position itself against a carbon tax on climate protection. Party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer decreed at the party’s board meeting last Monday that the party will change its position on climate change accordingly. The minister-president of Lower Saxony, Bernd Althusmann, one of the co-authors of the draft climate paper, had previously explained the conditions under which such a tax would make sense. Several participants in the meeting had spoken out against a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. “In that case we will remove the carbon tax from the position paper,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

The position paper is expected to be adopted at a special meeting of the Executive Board after the European elections. Kramp-Karrenbauer’s position is not uncontroversial in the party. For example, Schleswig-Holstein’s minister-president Daniel Günther had called for a carbon tax. What is more, the positioning should cause trouble in the Government coalition. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (Social Democrats/SPD) has called for the introduction of a carbon tax.

For CDU party leader Kramp-Karrenbauer the decision is a defeat. The fact that the CDU is now positioning itself against a carbon tax leaves the Christian Democrats again as a party for which the interests of Germany’s economy are more important than those of climate protection. Kramp-Karrenbauer wanted to change this perception in order to prevent the migration of Union voters to the Greens.

Full story (in German)