After the historic victory of the so-called “Greta generation” – young people in their twenties whose priority is to prevent climate change – the German government has presented a tougher proposal for its climate law.
The move follows an order from the country’s highest court, which ruled the Merkel government’s plan unconstitutional to push most of the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the future.
The Constitutional Court endorsed the argument of environmental activists that Merkel’s law virtually ended their future freedoms, as much greater sacrifices would have to be made to prevent global warming.
According to the new proposal, the reduction in emissions by 2030 goes from 55% to 65%. The plan also calls for Germany to reach net zero emissions in 2045, and more in 2050. Merkel’s cabinet is expected to approve the figures next week.
Justice had given the government until the end of 2022 to detail new targets, but the government is in a hurry because of the national elections in September, in which Merkel’s successor will be chosen – who is leaving the government after 16 years.
With the exception of the health crisis, the defense of the environment was mentioned as the main concern of the Germans in the last Eurobarometer survey, and the subject, which will have a certain place in the electoral debates, is already appearing in the intentions of vote. .
Election polls show the Greens’ growing popularity in voting intentions, while Merkel’s Union (CDU-CSU) figures are falling. In some polls, Annalena Baerbock, a new green candidate, already appears in front of the conservative candidate Amir Laschet.
Introducing the new targets, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said it was a “fair deal for the younger generation”. “Each decade, each generation, will take its responsibilities,” she said.
Despite being a member of Merkel’s cabinet, the minister is from the Social Democratic SPD, which is part of the ruling coalition but competes with its own candidate in September. The raids on the government bloc had already taken place after the court ruling, when Finance Minister and SPD candidate Olaf Scholz criticized the CDU for slowing down when drafting the law under pressure from the industrial sector.
Industries are one of the areas most affected by the decision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – substances that absorb some of the sun’s rays and redistribute that radiation into the atmosphere, warming the planet – because it means changing their production structures and even your market. strategies.
Among the main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by the combustion of fuels such as gasoline and diesel, and methane, released in agricultural activities. Speeding up goals means changing areas such as transport, food production, construction, energy production and forest management more quickly, in addition to industrial processes.
The amendment presented by the German government also details how the reduction will be, meeting one of the court’s demands. The idea is that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 25% in the 2020s, 23% in the 2030s and 12% in the 2040s, when the cumulative cuts will reach 88%, according to the minister.