German parliament to vote on updated climate change package

The German parliament is to vote on the government’s climate change package on Thursday. After a compromise agreed in the parliamentary mediation committee, approval is considered certain. 

The compromise provides – among other measures – for Germany’s states to receive more money from the federal government to promote public transport use.

A higher price is also planned for the emission of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) in transport and buildings from 2021.

Industry has warned that plans to increase fossil fuel costs will place an extra burden on some firms.

The president of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Eric Schweitzer, told dpa: “These companies need clarity quickly as to whether they still have a future in Germany as a business location.”

The Taxpayers’ Association is, however, advocating a stronger increase in the commuter allowance in order to compensate for the fact that diesel and petrol will become more expensive.

Dietmar Bartsch, the leader of the parliamentary faction for the hard-left Die Linke party, criticized the compromise for harming poorer people.

“Climate policy that makes life more expensive will not be accepted by society,” he told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group.

However the new head of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Norbert Walter-Borjans, stressed that his party had ensured that the climate package was socially balanced.

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