Grand coalition climate pact to be weakened report says

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No national target for CO2 reduction by 2040, instead a more gentle control mechanism: the final draft of the climate protection law is to be significantly weaker than expected. This was reported by “Der Spiegel”.

According to “Der Spiegel”, which claims to have received the final draft, the climate protection law, which is to be passed by the cabinet on Wednesday, has been significantly weakened compared to the original plan.

According to the draft, no more national CO2 reduction targets will be defined for the year 2040. The promise that Germany will achieve greenhouse neutrality by 2050 has also been weakened. The Spiegel report highlights that the only wording left in the draft is that this goal should be “pursued”.

Changes were likely made at insistence of CDU/CSU

The control mechanisms are also to be weakened: The so-called Climate Council should no longer prepare an annual report in order to validate the effectiveness of the planned measures. It should also no longer be allowed to make proposals on how the responsible ministries can readjust if CO2 reduction targets in individual sectors are at risk. According to the report, these changes were made at the instigation of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

In mid-September, the Grand Coalition had agreed on a series of measures to reduce emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases, which were criticized by environmental associations as being too timid. The CDU/CSU and SPD have stipulated, among other things, that the pollution rights for the sale of fossil fuels will only cost 10 euros per tonne in 2021. Later, the price is supposed to rise.

Criticism of the change of plans

Criticism of the changes to the law followed promptly – even from within. CDU politician Ruprecht Polenz wrote on Twitter: “Clear goals and intermediate goals are needed if the Paris climate target is to be achieved. And it needs an annual review of the interim results achieved in order to be able to make adjustments.”

Left Party leader Dietmar Bartsch twittered: “What kind of government is this? A new opinion every week. They’re not capable.” Britta Hasselmann, a senior MP of the Green Party, spoke of a “declaration of bankruptcy”. “Unbelievable! Even with the climate package originally announced by CDU/CSU and SPD, it would no longer have been possible to meet the Paris climate targets. Apparently #BRG (the federal government) is now weakening the deal – it can’t get any worse.”

SPD leadership candidate Karl Lauterbach wrote on Twitter: “If the climate package is further weakened by the Union, it’s just a toothless tiger. Everything that is missing will have to be made up by our children and will be much more expensive. The SPD should not be on the wrong side of history.” The climate package of the Federal Government is also likely to trigger further protest actions of Extinction Rebellion. The activists are planning blockades in Berlin, among other places.

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