Germany Plans Climate Action to the Tune of $110 Billion

BERLIN (AFP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government plans to commit at least $110 billion on climate protection by 2030, according to a draft policy paper being discussed Thursday.

Merkel’s conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats were expected to haggle late into the night on the details before the landmark policy package was to be announced Friday.

The European Union’s biggest economy is set to miss its climate targets for next year but has committed itself to meeting the 2030 goal of a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels.

Export powerhouse Germany accounts for around 2% of the worldwide emissions blamed for heating the Earth’s atmosphere, melting ice caps, rising sea levels and intensifying violent weather.

After two blistering summers and a wave of Fridays For Future student strikes and other environmental protests, the Merkel government has faced rising pressure to step up its efforts to protect the climate.

The coalition looks to commit to spending “in the triple digit billions,” at least 100 billion euros, according to the nearly 140-page draft paper titled “Climate Protection Program 2030,” seen by Agence France-Presse.

The document states that “the additional investments in climate-friendly measures will support the economy” and help future-proof Germany as a business, trade and investment location.

Germany wants to implement “a variety of effective and ambitious measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” and help “preserve the foundation for life on Earth,” the draft paper says.

Measures listed would tackle emissions in the energy and industrial sectors, housing, transport, agriculture, waste management and the state apparatus itself.

The government aims to step up subsidies for purchase of zero-emission electric vehicles and expand the country’s underdeveloped electric car-charging infrastructure.

It would also raise tax incentives for making buildings more energy efficient and promote alternative fuels, local public transport and climate-friendly freight transport.

The two coalition parties are unresolved on how to better price harmful carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal into economic activity, to incentivize clean alternatives.

While Merkel’s party wants to expand trading of emission certificates, the Social Democrats have called for a carbon tax.

Merkel’s government will announce its plan on the day expected to see the biggest international wave of climate strikes yet by the Fridays for Future movement and the hundreds of civic groups that support it.

© Agence France-Presse

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