On the German Bundestag elections: "We can't afford any more years of stagnation."

 
09/26/2021 - The outcome of the Bundestag elections has great significance for climate and energy policy. Veronika Grimm and Ottmar Edenhofer commented on this on the sidelines of an online debate organized by the Verein für Socialpolitik, an important association of economic researchers.
On the German Bundestag elections: "We can't afford any more years of stagnation."
Climate issue in poll by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen. Photo: ZDF

Energy economist Veronika Grimm of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, who is also a member of the Council of Economic Experts appointed by the German government, i.e. the so-called "economic experts," explained:

"Climate protection and digitization must be the top priorities of the coming legislative period. Instead of a multitude of small-scale measures, we need a coherent overall climate policy concept with CO2 pricing as the guiding instrument - and across all sectors at European level. The next German government should work towards this. In addition, the expansion of infrastructure for energy transport and mobility must be implemented across Europe much faster than planned to date, and global cooperation on climate protection must receive significantly more attention. Europe, the USA and China must move closer together on climate protection, for example in a so-called climate club - they are the largest CO2 emitters, but as the largest economic powers they also have global opportunities to act. Everything must be focused on unleashing the innovative and implementation power of the economy. The global climate targets can only be achieved if technologies are quickly available that enable climate-friendly economic activity in all countries worldwide. Whether we can achieve the global climate goals will be decided in this decade."

Climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who is also co-chair of the Climate Protection Science Platform appointed by the German government, pointed out:

"Before the election, the parties liked to talk a lot about the climate. If they are serious, they must get serious now: The new government must tackle a targeted energy tax reform, make the CO2 price the guiding instrument, introduce a fair social compensation in the CO2 price, create a strong expansion of renewable energies. And start an active foreign climate policy that makes the EU Commission's Green Deal a success and brings the USA and China to the table with Europe for the global reduction of emissions. All of this applies regardless of which coalition is now formed. Because all parties face the same challenge: limiting climate hazards such as floods and heat waves, and speeding up climate policy as economic policy. This is not a question of party color. The climate crisis is impartial: it affects everyone in the long run. Those who dither now are driving up the costs and the risks for people. We can't afford any more years of stagnation."

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