German parliament approves climate protection plan
German lawmakers voted to enshrine climate protection in law on Friday.
The new legislation will target sectors like energy, transport and housing. It aims to cut Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of the 1990 levels by 2030. Parts of the so-called “climate packet” still need approval.
The law will set goals in each government department to reduce CO2 emissions. Incentives will also be introduced for businesses and agencies who operate in an environmentally friendly way.
This could mean that flying will become more expensive while trains will become cheaper in Germany. A CO2 traffic charge will be introduced as well as charges on businesses which produce a large amount of CO2.
The legislation will cost around €54 billion ($59.5 billion) by 2023, in part financed by these charges.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party and their coalition partner the center-left SPD faced opposition across the board from other major parties.
Anton Hofreiter, the parliamentary leader of the Green party, described the move as “another bad day for climate protection,” saying that under the current government real climate protection would be impossible.
The business-friendly liberal Free Democrats spokesman accused the CDU of “climate hysteria.”
ed/ng (Reuters, epd, dpa)