Germany Will Tax CO2 Emissions at $28 a Ton

A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP oil refinery and chemical plant are at work in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN (AFP) — German lawmakers reached a hard-fought compromise on carbon pricing early Monday, breaking a parliamentary deadlock on the government’s much-disputed climate policy reforms.

In a grueling six-hour meeting that ended in the small hours, they agreed that businesses will pay $28 per ton of carbon they use from January 2021 — more than double the initially proposed rate.

The new rate, opposed by business lobbies, is to increase to $61.60 per ton by 2025, before eventually being incorporated into an EU-wide carbon trading system.

The breakthrough renewed hope that Angela Merkel’s government can pass its four-part climate reform package before Christmas.

The package, which includes plans to reduce rail prices and raise taxes on air travel, was broadly approved by both chambers of the German parliament in November.

But a dispute over the cost of the new policies meant that regional representatives in the upper house blocked certain elements of the bill, forcing the government and federal states to return to the negotiating table.

Merkel’s government has faced criticism since it presented the climate package in September, with environmental NGOs and opposition parties claiming it lacks ambition.

Annalena Baerbock, co-leader of the opposition Green Party, said “much, much more” was necessary after Monday’s compromise.

© Agence France-Presse

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