Quickly out of the coal, early in the CO2 neutrality: After the Karlsruhe ruling on the climate law, the Union now wants to accelerate. The CSU rushes forward – also out of concern for the Greens.
Munich – As always, the big words come off his lips. It is a generational task to create a balance between economy and ecology, says Markus Söder before the CSU board meeting on Monday. He calls a “clear signal” that the Federal Constitutional Court is calling for improvements to the climate law. Then follows another half-loud sentence: Climate protection is not “the label of a party”.
What is meant are the Greens, the Union’s main opponent in the race for the Chancellery. In the external perception, they still have the patent on climate protection, which from the Union’s point of view could grow from a nuisance to a problem. Ecological awareness has long been “part of everyday culture,” says Söder, and looks worriedly at the impending loss of direct mandates, especially in cities. This is one of the reasons why the CSU and CDU have recently rushed to catch the Greens on the subject.
Climate protection: Söder wants to increase the CO2 price – but calls for a reduction in electricity prices
To achieve this, Söder wants to tackle the Bavarian and federal climate laws and is immediately setting a new brand: The Free State is to become climate-neutral by 2040 (instead of 2050), with an interim target of “65 plus x percent” for 2030. He leaves open what is feasible nationwide. Even CDU boss Armin Laschet, with whom the 2040 mark was apparently not agreed, does not commit himself on Monday, but speaks of climate neutrality “well before the year 2050”.
Söder wants to “nail it down” and suggests various measures. This includes, among other things, a higher CO2 price, which, however, has to be returned “one-to-one to citizens and businesses”, for example through lower electricity prices. He does not name numbers. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt had said that the price would have to rise from 25 to 45 euros per ton emitted in 2022.
Union increases the pace of climate protection – only “typical Södersche stun grenades?”
Söder proposes an incentive model for a faster exit from coal. The exit date should remain in 2038, but those who turn off old kilns earlier must profit financially according to the motto “more coal for less coal”. In addition, the fossil combustion engine must be over by 2035, and Söder wants to accelerate the expansion of rail and public transport routes through more efficient processes. There is enough money, but the permits are taking too long.
But Söder does not want to shake the controversial 10-H rule for wind turbines in Bavaria. Instead, existing plants in the Free State are to be modernized. The focus, however, is on solar systems, which should be mandatory for new buildings, for example.
The opposition, which repeatedly criticizes the Bavarian Climate Protection Act as ineffective, sees a lot of hot air in the announcements. Anyone blocking the expansion of wind power is “completely untrustworthy in terms of climate protection policy,” said SPD leader Florian von Brunn, speaking of “typical Söders stun grenades”.
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Instead of concrete measures, Söder is relying on “the most powerful announcement,” said Green Party leader Ludwig Hartmann. Short-term successes can only be achieved with the expansion of wind power. “The next five years will be decisive in the fight against global warming. But when it comes to the next steps, Söder lacks the courage. ”He also considers Söder’s suggestion to accelerate the coal phase-out through money to be absurd. The exit is already expensive enough. To put pressure on, the Greens are planning a climate popular initiative with the ÖDP and environmental associations. We are on the right track, he said.
At least with a view to the federal law, Söder hopes for a quick agreement between the government and the parliamentary groups of the Union and the SPD. The aim is to bring the revised climate law into the cabinet next week. However, there is still a need to speak between the CDU and CSU beforehand. Laschet, for example, who, in contrast to his Bavarian colleague, governs a coal country with North Rhine-Westphalia, cannot gain much from Söder’s push for coal. The exit is firmly planned. “As a legislator, you shouldn’t keep adding up.”
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