2nd Apr 2020

EU climate proposals hurt industry, says Germany

  • Germany's criticisms go to the heart of the EU's climate and energy proposals (Photo: Tom Jensen/

The German Economy Ministry has attacked EU proposals to tackle climate change as "pointless" if other major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions are not also committed to significant reductions.

If climate polluters such as China, India and the United States are not also on board, the EU's climate package would end up harming German businesses.

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"Any success achieved in Europe would be pointless," says statement from the Economy Ministry issued on Tuesday (15 July).

The ministry laid out a raft of strong criticisms of the package, whose legislative proposals were unveiled by the European Commission in January, in a statement following a conference of German officials and business representatives.

Both the industry figures and deputy economy minister Jochen Homann at the meeting had offered reservations about some of the main planks of the climate package because they would hurt German competitiveness, according to a report from Reuters.

The heart of the EU's climate strategy - the Emissions Trading Scheme - came in for serious criticism.

The ministry statement said that a reduction by 21 percent on 2005 levels in the amount of emissions trading permits - the key mechanism within the ETS that enables emissions reductions would hurt jobs and growth in the EU's largest economy.

Furthermore, the other key element in the ETS - the commission proposal to begin auctioning pollution permits rather than giving them away - would undermine corporations' investment plans.

Auctioning could even cause the German paper and glass industries to go bankrupt, says the press release summing up the tone of the conference.

The ministry also complained that earlier efforts to combat climate change have not been sufficiently taken into account.

Skyrocketing oil and gas prices are already pushing investment in renewable energy sources, energy savings and energy efficiency, the ministry said.

Any additional measures thus "should be considered only with great caution."

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