Thursday

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/norden.org)

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

"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."

No breakthrough at EU budget summit

EU leaders failed to reach agreement on the EU's long-term budget, as richer states and poorer 'cohesion countries' locked horns. The impasse continues over how to fund the Brexit gap.

EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock

Cuts to innovation, space, neighbourhood and other programme-spending push down the latest budget proposal on the table of EU leaders. Rebates could stay on, to win the support of the net-payers for a deal.

Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

EU leaders arriving at the Brussels summit criticised the budget proposal of EU Council president Charles Michel, as richer member states insisted holding onto their rebates, while poorer countries wanted to avoid deep cuts to their subsidies.

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. Court: Three countries broke EU law on migrant relocation
  2. Journalism hit hard by corona crisis
  3. EU fighting shortages and faulty medical supplies
  4. New EU navy operation to keep migrant details secret
  5. MEP: Constituents are our window into this tragedy
  6. Without European patriotism, EU decline is inevitable
  7. EU cancels April Fool's 'fake news'
  8. A coronavirus 'Marshall Plan' alone won't be nearly enough

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us