German cabinet approves climate protection measures

WNM | Oct 9, 2019 at 10:46 AM

Berlin, October 9 (AFP) - The German cabinet on Wednesday approved landmark climate protection measures designed to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The provisional SPD chairman Malu Dreyer has prepared people in Germany for the changes brought about by the new climate protection legislation. "Whether heating, driving or travelling - a lot will change for the individual," said Dreyer according to AFP. It must be clear that by no means all people - even with good will - will be able to take part in all climate protection measures immediately.

"Anyone who has to finance a new heating system cannot afford a climate-friendly car at the same time," Dreyer said. "This is why we are investing heavily in the creation of climate-friendly alternatives for our citizens and are making a moderate contribution to the burdens. The "clear message" was that "in the coming years, a lot will come to each of us if we do not convert our actions to climate-friendly".

Dreyer defended the climate protection law. "If the climate package is adopted in the cabinet today, it will actually herald a paradigm shift," she said. For the first time, climate targets will be set by law. For the first time, a mechanism will be introduced to ensure that climate targets are achieved.

On Wednesday, the federal cabinet launched a comprehensive package of measures for climate protection. The ministerial meeting passed a new climate protection law and a detailed climate program. In it, the government sets out its concrete goals in the fight against climate change up to the year 2030. The climate package provides for greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. Measures are planned in the areas of energy, transport, building renovation and agriculture.

There had obviously been differences within the Federal Government about the Climate Protection Act, which also contains control mechanisms for compliance with the targets. It was therefore unclear until Wednesday morning whether it would be discussed at the ministerial meeting.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) again rejected accusations in ZDF-Morgenmagazin that the federal government had softened the goals set by the Climate Cabinet in September. The climate protection law would stipulate greenhouse neutrality until 2050. It will establish "binding" climate protection measures "for every area", she emphasized.

The federal government is the first government to make greenhouse gas neutrality a law by the middle of the century. What is new is that from now on the entire government will be responsible for climate protection, Schulze said. "In the past, this was the responsibility of the Environment Minister. In the future, each minister would be "directly responsible for his own area".

Commenting on the current climate protests, Schulze said she was pleased when people fought for climate protection. At the same time, she warned against polarisation: the discussion must become "softer", Schulze demanded. "Climate protection is not just a matter for a few, but for all".