5 past twelve! – CO2 price is collective agreement with the future – Statement of the Federal Association for Sustainability on the Climate Protection Package of the Federal Government

Statement of the Federal Association for Sustainability on the Climate Protection Package of the Federal Government

Berlin, September 20th, 2019

5 past twelve!
CO2 price is collective agreement with the future

The German Federal Association for Sustainability explicitly welcomes the Coalition’s efforts to include sustainability in the Basic Law, to introduce a Climate Protection Act in Germany and a CO2 price. We expect a coordinated holistic management of sustainability in the rank of a Federal Minister for Sustainability, who also keeps in view the compliance with the sector targets for the reduction of emissions. The success of future ministers must be based on this.

The coordination of sustainability must not be left to a single ministry, which primarily focuses on its own sector, in which we explicitly include the Ministry of the Environment. Rather, we expect a Federal Minister experienced in sustainability issues. Digitization is coordinated by a state secretary. Sustainability deserves more.

In view of the rhetoric of “humanity challenge” (Angela Merkel, CDU) or “five to twelve” (Olaf Scholz, SPD), however, the concrete projects of the climate protection package are fading beyond recognition. “We have the strong impression that the Federal Government still has not heard the shot: it is already five PAST Twelve,” said Vice President Martin Wittau.

GFAS President Tarik Mustafa: “In all efforts to find compromises, the Federal Government must not lose sight of the necessities and the good of future generations. We can not see that there is a clear desire in terms of climate protection in the Federal Government. They only pay lip service to FridaysForFuture. Rather, an attempt is made to elude this annoying question by clientele policy. Pulling together looks different.”

Given the CO2 price in the European emissions trading system of currently around EUR 26.75/t (as at Sept. 17th, 2019), it seems ridiculous to argue about the consequences of a price of EUR 30 or EUR 40/t. In view of a price calculation of the Federal Environmental Agency of 180 EUR/t (based on the prices of 2016), it is anyway the general public, which must bear the difference and thus the consequential costs – it is just not the polluters.

For this reason, there is absolutely no need to debate about the social compatibility of CO2 pricing, which merely distracts from the actual problem: the Federal Government is not willing and able to sustainably secure the future of people living in Germany as a whole. It does not do much good if sustainability is part of the Basic Law and possibly eke out a niche existence as a paper tiger.

From the point of view of the Federal Association for Sustainability, it is essential to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels immediately: by abolishing tax incentives for diesel fuel, the taxation of kerosene, the coal exit escorted by structural and perspectives development until 2030 or earlier and just by a price of CO2 emissions, which are not left to market forces alone. The income from this can be credited to the Climate Protection Fund without the need for a government bond.

We therefore propose a gradual shift of the CO2 price by 2050 from the general public to the polluters – so to speak, a collective agreement with the future:

CO2 price table proposal Federal Association for Sustainability

Base Sept. 17th, 2019: 26,75 €/t
(Source: → https://www.boerse-online.de/rohstoffe/co2-emissionsrechte)

This provides the economy with a reliable and predictable table increase that provides an incentive for investment in climate protection. The table provides an entry-level value based on the current situation and rapid incremental values to bring the targets of the Climate Action Act for achieving a reduction in emissions between 2020 and 2030 within reach, even if they are foreseeably missed, at least for 2020. By dynamizing the increase values in the following decades, this would also satisfy the increasing demands of CO2 neutrality.

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