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Green Deal: Germany Industry Rejects More Stringent EU Climate Targets

GWPF & Handelsblatt

The EU Commission President will probably present her proposal for a stricter climate target next week. Resistance is forming.

Brussels, Berlin, Düsseldorf: The plan was already foreseeable, it should become concrete next week: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to propose a further tightening of the EU climate targets for 2030. According to the plan, EU member states should reduce their CO2 emissions by 55% compared to 1990. So far this goal has achieved a reduction of 40%.

As part of the Green Deal, the roadmap for a climate-neutral economy by 2050, von der Leyen had already announced that she wants to increase the target to at least 50 percent, if not 55 percent.

Although there has already been criticism from Germany’s industry about a proposed 50% target, the EU Commission apparently wants to set the target at 55%.

Accordingly, this higher target has been meet with rejection in industrial circles: “Europe is advancing alone in the world. For the time being there will be no fact-based debate, but the political decisions will be struck anyway, ”said a German business representative in Brussels on Tuesday. “Some people in the EU obviously doesn’t care that the automotive industry will hit the wall.”

For example, a study by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), which examined the effects of an increased interim target of 50 to 55 percent and was presented in Brussels on Tuesday concludes: “In the European emissions trading system, significant price increases are to be expected.” The trade association warns that rising carbon prices would have an impact on industrial plants that are subject to emissions trading. As long as the burdens on companies were exclusively incurred in the EU, there would be a risk that industries would migrate abroad and cause higher CO2 emissions worldwide.

European politician Markus Pieper (CDU) also warned: “A CO2 reduction target of over 55% for 2030 is unrealistic and demands too much from the European economy, which is still badly shaken by the Covid-19 crisis.”

Germany, of all places, whose industries are campaigning against the Green Deal, plays a key role in EU climate policy: not only because it is the largest economy in the EU – and therefore also the largest emitter of CO2 – but because it currently chairs the EU Council Presidency and therefore has to come to an amicable solution to the proposed law with all European member states.

Berlin is aware that the current climate target must be increased. But there are also disputes in this country about the extent.

Resistance from the CDU economic council

The Social Democratic (SPD) parliamentary group vice-president Matthias Miersch stated that he expressly supports the goal of reducing European CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030. “Only in this way can Europe succeed in becoming climate-neutral by 2050,” Miersch told the Handelsblatt. It is good that Europe is playing a pioneering role. “If we act wisely, there is also an opportunity here to increase the competitiveness of European companies in the area of ​​climate-friendly business.”

In contrast, the CDU Economic Council rejects an increase in EU climate protection to 55 percent by 2030. “Wanting to excessively increase an already ambitious goals in times like these is a lack of political instinct,” said Wolfgang Steiger, Secretary General of the Economic Council.

“Additional burdens would be poison for the economy in view of the Corona recession,” said Steiger. The priority must be to reliably comply with the European climate protection goals and to consistently pursue Europe’s climate neutrality by 2050.

If the target review by the EU this autumn were to result in an excessive target increase, the CDU Economic Council fears high additional burdens for companies that have already been badly hit by the corona crisis.

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)