Patio heater at a Christmas market (archive picture): "Energy policy disclosure oath" - or Corona prevention?
Photo: Franka Bruns / AP
Heating mushrooms in front of cafes or restaurants are prohibited in many places for environmental reasons.
The emitters are mostly operated with propane gas and emit not only heat but also a comparatively large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2).
In order to help the autumn and winter gastronomy, which was already battered by the corona crisis, Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier has proposed a compromise.
It could serve the industry in Corona times if, in the transition period in autumn, people were able to "sit safely outside and thus contribute to the continuation of the catering trade," said the CDU politician.
The "modest energy costs" could be offset in terms of climate policy, he said and pleaded for a "differentiated" approach.
"Even large companies" have developed business models for such CO2 compensation.
In this way, people could "ultimately do something for climate protection" and still enable gastronomy to continue their business model "in the not-so-hot season," said Altmaier.
Green politician Hofreiter can imagine an exception
Restaurateurs recently requested nationwide approval of the devices in order to be able to serve more guests outdoors in autumn and winter.
"The municipalities that currently have a ban on patio heaters should suspend it this autumn and winter," said the general manager of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association, Ingrid Hartges, to the "Tagesspiegel".
Landlords who had no other option should be allowed to use gas patio heaters and electric heaters this winter.
This is intended to protect against infection.
more on the subject
Hospitality in Corona times: Association pleads for the return of patio heaters
Pandemic: City of Munich decides to ban alcohol with rising corona numbers
Mayor Reiter on the corona crisis: Munich wants to make Christmas markets possibleAn interview by Jan Friedmann
Corona crisis: The desperation of the bar owners by Alexander Preker
Misuse of corona data: paperwork by Alexander Preker
Environmental protection groups protested immediately.
The climate and energy policy spokesman for the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Lorenz Gösta Beutin, has now called Altmaier's idea a "renewed energy policy revelation".
Altmaier has "still not understood that the climate cannot be weighed against jobs".
The climate crisis is no longer about CO2 compensation, but about avoiding greenhouse gases everywhere on the planet.
"Every additional gram of CO2 is one gram too much."
If you want to eat and drink outdoors because of Corona, you can simply wear thicker clothes.
The Greens, on the other hand, consider an exception to be justifiable: "For climate and environmental reasons, we reject the use of patio heaters outside in a restaurant or café in winter," said Bundestag parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter.
"This winter everything is different, and therefore in this special exceptional situation and with a view to health protection I would be in favor of temporarily suspending bans."
Icon: The mirror
apr / AFP / dpa