Baerbock: Germany needs a massive expansion of renewable energies

The Greens want to increase the national CO2 price earlier than planned. They argue that the climate target cannot be achieved without further wind and solar parks. The SPD parliamentary group vice-chairman also swerves on the course.

The number of wind farms, like here in the Oder-Spree district, is expected to increase further in the coming years.

Dhe Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock has warned that the higher climate targets announced by the federal government should now be followed up with action. “Good politics is not measured by paper and abstract goals, but by reality and concrete measures,” Baerbock told the German press agency on Friday. It is now necessary to get the CO2 price on the way “with a real climate policy steering effect”, to implement the coal phase-out by 2030 and to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. Without a massive expansion of renewable energies, climate targets are “nothing”.

This Friday, the Bundestag is discussing two motions and a draft law by the Greens to implement more climate protection. With its draft to amend the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the parliamentary group wants to achieve significantly higher expansion targets for renewables in the next two years.

In one of the motions, the parliamentary group calls for the national CO2 price, which has been paid on oil and gas since January 1, to be increased to 60 euros as early as 2023. After that, it should continue to rise according to the will of the Greens. The price is currently 25 euros per tonne of CO2. The previous plans envisage gradually increasing it to 55 euros by 2025.

Expansion of renewable energies unexplained

The federal government announced new national climate targets last Wednesday as a result of a constitutional court ruling. Exactly with which instruments they are to be achieved, however, is still the subject of discussions within the grand coalition. The points that have not yet been clarified include the exact expansion path for wind and solar energy and the distribution of loads in connection with a higher CO2 price.

On the other hand, SPD parliamentary group vice-president Matthias Miersch advises against a fixation on higher CO2 prices in the debate. “Anyone who only wants to protect the climate with a high CO2 price is pursuing a neoliberal ban policy,” said Miersch of the German press agency. Even without high CO2 prices, climate protection is possible, for example with a “massive expansion of renewable energies”, explained Miersch.

In addition, climate protection must be socially fair. “Anyone who has money can still afford any climate-political mess. However, if you can’t afford it, you have to go without it, ”said Miersch. The Union is already refusing to let landlords share the costs of the price on oil and gas that has been in effect since January 1, criticized the SPD parliamentary group vice-president. The path to the development of CO2 prices that has been decided so far is “reliable” and allows the economy to “change course according to plan,” said Miersch.

Price will rise in the coming years

In December 2019, the federal government agreed on a CO2 price of 25 euros per ton, which has made fossil heating and fuels more expensive since the beginning of the year. It is planned that it will rise further to 55 euros by 2025. It is considered to be one of the most important instruments for advancing climate protection.

Several Union politicians, including Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, had spoken out in favor of a higher CO2 price in the past few days – as a steering instrument for more climate protection. The Greens also spoke out in favor of significantly increasing the price of CO2.