Policy Article

A turn in German climate policy indispensable: Proposals for action for the new federal government (original publication in German)

Kiel Policy Briefs

Germany has to induce and develop action in climate policy soon in order to and reach future emission goals, demonstrate its will to act and regain some of its credibility in terms of climate action in the opinion of the authors Malte Winkler and Ruth Delzeit. On a European level, the German government should engage for a sectoral expansion of the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS) as well as the introduction of threshold values for freight transport on roads. In the electricity sector important measures include the development of a plan for the phase-out of coal-fired power generation, which is codesigned with affected stakeholder groups and includes a specific target date and is in compliance with an emissions budget, as well as a strategy for intelligent grid expansion. In the transport sector, a consistent facilitation and/or burden for different technologies based on their CO2 emissions should be established; for this purpose, existing instruments at national level, such as taxes on electricity and other forms of energy, should be adapted to the current challenges. The national road charge should also be based on actually emitted greenhouse gases of different vehicle types. In the heating sector, the redevelopment of existing buildings and the expansion of heating networks should be promoted. A consistent CO2 pricing for heating oil and electricity would make the use of heat pumps more competitive. Sector coupling and strengthening of the EU ETS as a system for consistent pricing of greenhouse gases should be central aspects of an ambitious German climate policy.