Net zero emissions in 2045: Bundestag adopts stricter climate protection law

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With the votes of the grand coalition, the Bundestag passed a comprehensive climate protection package on Thursday that will change numerous laws and ordinances. The core part is the controversial reform of the Climate Protection Act. Germany will have to significantly increase CO in the coming years2 and save other climate-damaging gases than initially planned. The Federal Republic should therefore become climate neutral by 2045. Originally, greenhouse gas emissions were supposed to fall to net zero by 2050.

The opposition voted closed for various reasons against the novella. All political groups not involved in the government had submitted dozens of their own proposals for or against more climate protection, which could not find a majority.

The intermediate goal on the way to climate neutrality for 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent compared to 1990. So far it should be 55 percent. The target of 88 percent minus applies for 2040. The lion’s share of the additional CO2– Savings by 2030 are to be made by the energy industry, which will reduce its annual emissions of 280 million tonnes of CO2-Equivalents in 2020 must decrease to 108 million tons by 2030, and industry must take over.

There, “the avoidance costs are the lowest”, explained the federal government this approach. In addition, these sectors would continue to generate the highest emissions. At the same time, the new, higher EU climate target for 2030 will be taken into account with a 55 percent reduction target. The cost of the newly introduced CO2According to the executive, the price should no longer be borne solely by the tenants, but half by the landlords. The CDU / CSU parliamentary group, however, vetoed it, so that the clause was left out.

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The coalition has added a passage according to which the expected comprehensive climate protection report of the government will first be presented in 2024 and then every two years on the status and further development of CO2-Must contain pricing within the EU as well as technical and international developments and their compatibility with national specifications. The assessments should, if possible, also include “effects on the development of employment, the economic structure, the equivalence of living conditions in rural areas as well as the efficiency of the use of natural resources”.

The initiative is linked to an investment pact with the industry for “climate-friendly production in Germany”. The use of green hydrogen for energy generation is to be promoted, the potential of natural CO2-Sinks such as forests and moors are used to a greater extent. In addition, there is an 8 billion euro immediate program with which the implementation of the new climate protection goals in the various sectors is to be supported.

With the package, the executive is reacting to the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on climate protection from the end of April. Accordingly, efforts must be distributed more fairly between current and future generations by 2045.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development – just like several experts at a hearing on Monday – complained in advance that it remains open how the new goals can be achieved. Existing measures would have to be readjusted, new ones developed “and backed by appropriate funding”. Laws and other requirements, for example for renewable energies, “which currently prevent the expansion of the necessary infrastructure”, should be scrutinized. The Regulatory Control Council demands significantly accelerated planning, approval and court procedures in order to enable the necessary investments in industrial production processes and infrastructure.

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The Bundestag has also passed a draft law with which it intends to implement the requirements of the EU directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, as well as an ordinance to implement the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and to amend other energy-related regulations. This should make the approval process more efficient and less complicated, especially for wind turbines. The “repowering” of wind turbines, i.e. the retrofitting of existing wind turbines, is made easier with an addition from the coalition: In the future, the only decisive factor in the approval process is whether additional loads arise.

The MPs have also passed a draft law with new rules for “pure hydrogen networks in energy law”. The aim is to create planning and investment security for the reallocation of gas lines, the construction of new hydrogen lines and the integration of existing private infrastructures.

The coalition added the relevant government bill numerous changes addedthat go far beyond the range of hydrogen. In the case of onshore wind turbines, the affected communities may in future be offered amounts totaling 0.2 cents per kilowatt hour for the amount of electricity actually fed in, if the system has an installed capacity of more than 750 kilowatts and has been subsidized.

Schwarz-Rot also wants to create more legal security for the installation of intelligent electricity meters with an addition, after a court recently stopped corresponding obligations. Data from such measuring devices should now only be transmitted directly to the authorized bodies if the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has assessed this as technically possible and the Federal Network Agency has approved the procedure.

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The Bundestag also calls on the government, in dialogue with the energy industry and consumer advocates, to work towards a “broadly available range of attractive and simple variable electricity tariffs” which, for example, include smart meter gateways and energy management systems that are equally useful for electricity customers, the market and the grid could be.

Green parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter had declared after the agreement between Black and Red that the agreement would seal “the fundamental failure of the grand coalition on climate protection”. Never before has the urgency and the opportunities to do something been greater. But black and red have a “socially just reform of the CO2-Preis “and continue to stumble in the expansion of renewables. The transport turnaround has not even been tackled. This” continued refusal to act “endangers prosperity, freedom and jobs and leaves industry and people alone.

The FDP parliamentary group complained that it was unwise to push ahead with goals before the EU had announced its plans. The annual reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions are difficult to understand. The left demanded central regulatory steps and guidelines from which nobody could buy their way out. Approaches such as a photovoltaic obligation for all buildings, a strong expansion of wind power and a speed limit were discussed in the coalition, but were prevented by the CDU / CSU parliamentary group. New constitutional complaints have already been announced.


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