Green Party publishes demands for stricter climate laws

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A high CO2 price, an “energy allowance” for everyone and the end of the combustion engine: the Greens want to score points with far-reaching measures – and are thus on a much more radical climate course than the Grand Coalition.

The Greens want to oppose the coalition’s climate plans with more far-reaching demands on CO2 prices, energy, transport and agriculture. This is the content of a 29-page motion by the party leadership for the next Green Party Conference in November entitled “Act – and act now! Measures for a climate neutral country”.

CO2 price ought to rise step by step

In the area of transport and heat, energy taxes are to be reformed with a CO2 component, for example, whereby the starting price of 40 euros per tonne of CO2 is to rise to 60 euros in 2021. The coalition, on the other hand, wants CO2 pollution rights for private companies to cost only ten euros per tonne at the start in 2021.

In the position paper, the Greens also demand a planned increase of the CO2 price according to the recommendations of an independent steering committee.

“With the tax revenue this creates, we will lower the electricity tax to the EU’s legally permissible minimum and introduce as a measure of social reconciliation an energy allowance for all”, states the paper.

Further demands include the abolition of oil heatings and fossil gas heatings starting from 2025. Instead heaters with solar heat, heat pumps or wood should be promoted.

Car-free inner cities: municipalities should decide

Municipalities should also be able to make unbureaucratic decisions about car-free inner cities. The introduction of 30 km/h zones should also be quick to implement.

Tax and financial policy should be designed in such a way that the purchase of cars with fossil combustion engines is phased out. In order to promote rail traffic, state revenue from toll roads should mainly go into its improvement: “From 2025, we do not want to build new federal roads any more, since Germany is sufficiently connected with roads, while considerable catch-up is needed in the case of railways.” The exemption of kerosene from the energy tax should end.

Less meat production

The change of direction demanded in agriculture includes, for example, a reduction in meat production. Industrial agriculture should be converted into ecological agriculture. “We want to educate about the consequences of meat consumption and advocate the normalcy of vegetarian and vegan diets,” the motion states.

Green power in the Bundesrat

The paper is likely to be met with interest from the CDU/CSU and SPD. The Grand Coalition wants to pass its own climate law as early as next Wednesday, but it will have to be passed by both chambers. The Greens have already announced that they intend to push through improvements in the Bundesrat (upper chamber), where their votes will be required for the new law’s approval.

Meanwhile, CDU/CSU parliamentary leader Ralph Brinkhaus emphasized the coalition’s willingness to engage in dialogue on its climate plans. The CDU politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group that the main features of the package had to “last for the next decades, regardless of parliamentary majorities.”

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