Top German MP Warns Of ‘Dictatorship Of Climate Law’
Deutschlandfunk, 23 February 2019Legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions for individual German ministries are a danger to democracy, says the Christian Democrat MP Andreas Lämmel. He is warning of a “dictatorship of climate law”.
Christian Democrat MP Andreas Lämmel is the CDU chairman of the Economics Committee in the German BundestagSarah Zerback (Deutschlandfunk):
The Environment Minister is responsible for climate protection, but not for traffic, industry, power plants and buildings that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And so it is already clear why the planned Climate Protection Act is currently causing a spat in the coalition government. That’s because with her law Svenja Schulze, the environment minister, wants to call her ministerial colleagues to account, with strict guidelines. Strong criticism comes primarily from the Christian Democratic Party. We can now talk about it with Andreas Lämmel. He is the CDU chairman of the parliamentary Economics Committee. Are the climate protection plans of your party too ambitious?
Andreas Lämmel: The climate goals that we have set ourselves together with our coalition partners can be reached. The only question is how to get there.
Zerback: Yes, the Federal Environment Minister has now published the draft of a Climate Change Act.
Lämmel: Yes, she has come up with a bill that, in my view, is completely unsuitable for solving this problem. You know we have overcome the dictatorship of the proletariat here in East Germany, and now we are facing a dictatorship of the climate law. I do not consider this law to be compatible with a market economy.
Zerback: What exactly of Schulze’s bill reminds you of the former [socialist] Germany Democratic Republic?
Lämmel: If I just look at the fixed allocation of targets for the six sectors. The bill includes a plan and fixed annual numbers of what every sector has to deliver every year. I remember the current discussion about diesel cars. This problem we now have was caused five years ago because of certain targets that were set and written into law but which no one can actually explain. Likewise, no one can explain how to achieve these sector targets or where those annual numbers come from.
Zerback: As I understand the minister it’s not that she allocates any specific targets, but that each department will have to set its own targets. What speaks against the idea of holding ministers to account?
Lämmel: First of all, there’s nothing wrong with that, because the ministers are in any case already responsible for achieving their climate goals. But now we are slowly entering a Republic of Committees and Councils. A new council would be set up to monitor practically the entire economy. Secondly, I ask myself what basic democratic understanding Frau Schulze actually has. After all, if the annual targets are not reached, an emergency programme would be launched, so to speak, without the participation of Parliament, which should then be implemented by the respective ministries on their own accord. And the Federal Council would be completely excluded by law. So I really wonder what basic understanding the environment minister demonstrates here.
Zerback: But if the individual departments do not deliver, then what speaks against forcing them, it is clearly their responsibility, climate protection is expensive and is getting more expensive, if the agreed targets are not achieved?
Lämmel: If the goals are not achieved there must be reasons why they are not achieved. And to lead a discussion by simply writing prescriptions into a law that may not be achievable on a year-by-year basis, that’s a complete political nonsense from the outset, I have to say.
See also German Industry Fears Eco-Dictatorship
2) Climate War Splits German Government As Climate Law Is Postponed Indefinitely
Andreas Mihm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 February 2019
Climate policy is increasingly splitting German’s coalition government of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD)
The commission agreed in the government contract for the energy-efficient renovation of buildings has been cancelled, the traffic commission argues not only over speed limits.
Although the “coal commission” has presented a plan for a coal exit by 2038, the devil is in the detail with which the Bundestag has yet to deal. The coal exit was supposed to be part of a comprehensive climate law. But if and when that comes no one knows.
That’s because the coalition committee has actually stopped the far advanced legislative project of Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD), according to the government. In the meantime, environmental State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth (SPD) is tweeting motivational slogans: “Of course, we will implement the coalition agreement on climate change exactly. This includes a climate protection law that will ensure that we achieve the 2030 climate protection goals. “
There is significant displeasure among Christian Democrats about Schulze’s plan for a “Climate Protection Act” according to which all ministries would be responsible for achieving legally binding reduction targets. The deputy chairman of the parliamentary Union faction Georg Nüßlein (CSU) accused Schulze of violating the coalition agreement.
At the same time Nüßlein expressed concern that the Social Democratic Pary (SPD) wanted to “create a breaking point for the coalition”. But not only environmental politicians like Nüßlein are contradictory. […]
At the annual reception of the German Renewable Energy Association, the new State Secretary for Energy Andreas Feicht finished the brouhaha with one sentence: “There will be no decision of the Federal Government on this issue in this legislative period.”
Full story (in German)
3) German Christian Democrats Reject New Climate Change Law
Deutschlandfunk, 16 February 2019
Germany’s Christian Democrats are moving away from the climate change bill agreed by the coalition government, at least for the time being. The reason: “The exit from coal is ambitious enough.” CDU and CSU reject any additional CO2 reductions, as demanded by the left-wing Social Democrats (SPD).
Basic pension, asylum, tax policy – these are the issues flying like ping pong balls through the Berlin government district these days. But what about climate change? The leaders of the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) also discussed this issue during the coalition committee meeting this week. On Wednesday evening, however, clear resistance formed about the proposed new climate protection law, especially among CDU and CSU members of parliament.
Step on the brake
This is all too fast for us, explains Georg Nüßlein, the vice-chairman of the Christian Democrat’s parliamentary party. First, the federal government should now focus on the coal exit as there is hardly any money left for further climate protection measures, according to the CSU politician.
Full story (in German)