Germany’s upper house halts parts of much-debated climate package

Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has for the moment blocked several planned tax changes in the government’s much-debated climate package, and referred them to a mediation committee in the search for a compromise.

The planned changes halted by the Bundesrat included an increase in the commuter subsidy, tax incentives for the renovation of buildings and tax reductions for long-distance train tickets.

On Friday, the chamber – composed of representatives from Germany’s 16 federal states – unanimously decided to defer the decisions on these topics to a committee that will negotiate between the Bundestag lower house and the Bundesrat.

At stake is the distribution of costs between federal and state governments.

On other parts of the climate package, there was criticism from the Bundesrat but no consensus to refer it to the mediation committee.

The federal government hopes to find a compromise before Christmas, but some representatives from the states view this as very ambitious or unlikely.

The Greens want to renegotiate core parts of the climate protection itself, while others are more concerned with financial issues.

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