Berlin (dpa) – Wolfgang Schäuble has spoken out in favor of a faster increase in the CO2 price to make progress in the fight against climate change. “I have always considered higher carbon pricing to be appropriate. It has to go faster,” he told Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
“And if driving becomes more expensive, we need not fear, although social hardships must of course be compensated.” Promoting the market to avoid CO2 through higher costs for greenhouse gas emissions is “just the right way,” said the Bundestag president.
In Germany, a CO2 price for transport and heating has been in force since the beginning of this year. Currently 25 euros per tonne of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) is owed and the price should gradually increase to 55 euros by 2025. By making diesel, petrol, heating oil and gas more expensive, citizens and industry should be encouraged to switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Costs for climate measures
Schäuble called for fairness in the election campaign regarding the costs of climate action. “We need to make it clear to people – whether they’re campaigning or not – that the necessary steps will be demanding from everyone. Giving the impression that the coming structural changes do not affect the individual is not the truth,” said the president of the Bundestag. “But people can certainly bear the truth, including in the election campaign. So honesty can’t hurt.”
In the dispute between CSU boss Markus Söder and chancellor-candidate Armin Laschet over the timing of the coal phase-out, Schäuble backs the CDU chairman. “I see no point now in a political bidding contest to question the coal mining year,” said Schäuble. Söder had called for the phasing out of coal as early as 2030. Schäuble referred to the consensus on coal phasing out and “major changes” to be expected in lignite mining areas on the Lower Rhine and especially in Lusatia.
Germany will phase out coal by 2038 at the latest, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat have decided. At the same time, approximately EUR 40 billion should be invested in the closure of coal-fired power stations and structural aid to the coal regions.