Federal government: thanks to new measures to the climate target

Status: 07/13/2022 15:57

Construction and transport ministries presented new climate protection measures. Minister Geywitz focuses on heat pumps and repairs, Minister Wissing wants, among others expand local public transport.

As of April, it was clear that the federal government failed to meet the national climate targets for buildings and transportation last year. At the end of the three month period, the departments made their suggestions for improvement public.

Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) presented an immediate program with eleven points that her ministry developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection.

More heat pumps, faster renovation

The first point is the new version of the Building Energy Act (GEG). For example, it should be stipulated that from 2024 each newly installed heating system should be supplied in 65%. renewable energy. To this end, a development program and a “qualification offensive” should be established for heat pumps, which ministries identify as key technology.

Public buildings should be refurbished faster in terms of energy efficiency, as well as communal facilities such as swimming pools. The contingency program also includes comprehensive planning of district heating – but it is admitted that the “exact draft federal regulation” is currently still open.

The short-term improvement of the climate balance cannot be achieved, even in the eyes of the ministries. For this, it says:

The impact assessment of the actions shows that the annual emissions for the period 2022-2026 are unlikely to be initially reached, but overall exceeding the 2028-2030 period will lead to compliance with the emission limit over the whole period (2022-2030).

Wissing is optimism

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing also unveiled his plans today – on the last day of the three-month period. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, bicycle infrastructure and local public transport will be developed to achieve climate goals. Legal requirements for working from home are also planned.

“This gap had to be closed,” said the FDP politician. Thanks to the measures presented, this will “definitely” be achieved. It was successful “without limiting the needs of the population.”

The package of measures does not include a general speed limit on motorways. In 2021, the transport sector exceeded greenhouse gas emissions specified in the Climate Protection Act by approximately three million tonnes.

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Significant criticism from environmentalists and business

Climate custodians accused Wissing in particular of not taking climate protection seriously enough. According to Greenpeace, the package from his ministry contained mostly “flowery advertisements.” According to the Road Traffic Ecological Club, “this does not reflect the seriousness of the situation.” “Fair, short-term, effective measures are needed to reduce energy consumption immediately,” said German environmental aid.

Activists demand, inter alia, speed limits on motorways, a ban on short-haul flights and the introduction of a 365-euro annual ticket for local public transport.

The steps planned by the Minister of Construction Geywitz are going in the right direction for the environmental organization BUND, but they are going too slowly. “The downtime for climate-damaging gas heaters from 2024 is too late,” said BUND chief Olaf Bandt.

Criticism also came from economics. “The conversion of heating systems to renewable energy must go hand in hand with the energy optimization of the building envelope,” explained Felix Pakleppa from the Central Union of the German Construction Industry. “Because the production of purely regenerative energy is too low for uninsulated buildings.”

Axel Gedaschko, president of the Housing Association, sees the “ambitious projects” of the Ministry of Construction, which, however, ignores the “current lack of necessary materials and specialists for renovation”. Much also depends on adequate financial support, which has not yet been decided.

No common traffic light program

The Climate Protection Act stipulates that Germany must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% ​​by 2030. compared to 1990 The package of measures will now be submitted to the Council of Climate Experts for opinion. Then the federal government will discuss it.

The coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP has not yet been able to agree on a joint immediate climate program. “I now hope that we can quickly agree on the overall concept and adopt it in the cabinet,” said Wissing.

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