German climate action plan postponed

11/09/2016 - In stark contrast to previous plans, the German Federal Government did not pass its much debated climate action plan "Klimaschutzplan 2050" today. "Germany missed a major opportunity - an opportunity for businesses, since the climate mitigation plan would have offered a framework for developing clean technologies, and an opportunity for reforming the European Emissions Trading System," says Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The government might adopt a revised version of the plan next Wednesday, yet there's uncertainty about how the new document will look like.
German climate action plan postponed
Coal power plant. Photo: den Belitzki/thinkstock

"For a revision of the draft plan, one issue is key: Germany has to stand up for a CO2 minimum price in the ETS," says Edenhofer, who's also a Professor at Technical University Berlin and Director at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. "Such a minimum price sets incentives for innovation, it makes burning fossil fuels more expensive, and it is a precondition for a German exit from coal. Without a minimum price, German national emissions reductions would only allow European neighbours to emit more greenhouse gases, that's how the ETS currently is constructed. Without a minimum price we will not see enough investments into clean technologies. It's up to us to transform the European emissions trading into an effective instrument of climate stabilization. A reformed EU ETS could then be a model for other emission trading systems that are currently being installed in many parts of the world."

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