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Competitive Advantage Germany: No Climate Strings Attached In Lufthansa’s Bailout


Germany’s multi-billion euro bailout of Deutsche Lufthansa AG may cost the airline some precious airport slots, but one thing it won’t have to do is meet any new environmental rules.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Monday offered Lufthansa a 9 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) package to help the carrier survive the coronavirus pandemic. There was no mention of new measures to safeguard the climate, leaving the airline to stick to its strategy of replacing old jets with more fuel-efficient models and using less-polluting alternative fuels where possible.

It’s a sharp contrast to demands attached to bailout packages from other European Union countries, which are seeking fresh measures to curb airlines’ carbon footprints.

“It is a big mistake that Germany, unlike France, the Netherlands or Austria, does not link economic aid to specific climate-protection requirements,” said Claudia Kemfert, professor of energy economics at the DIW research institute in Berlin. “An important opportunity is lost.”

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