In view of the criticism of the German government's climate package, the SPD leadership is ready to make changes to CO2 pricing. The acting SPD leader Malu Dreyer told the "Tagesspiegel" that the Social Democrats had suggested to the Union in the negotiations "that at least as a compromise with 20 euros begins".
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier had already had his officials calculate how the model could work in advance of the climate summit. The officials had come to a starting price of 35 euros, but that was both the SPD and the CSU with regard to their electoral clientele too high.
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"It did not fail at the SPD, it could have given us a higher price," says Dreyer today. "We will talk openly with the Greens on how to get together," said the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister with a view to the difficult negotiations on the CO2 tax and other plans in the Bundesrat. Dreyer himself governs with Greens and FDP in Mainz.
"Keep the social peace"
In the climate package, the coalition had agreed that the CO2 price should start at very low levels in 2021 through emissions trading: ten euros per tonne of CO2. The price should increase gradually until 2025 to 35 euros.
Dreyer conceded to the "Tagesspiegel" that the SPD certainly had their share. It should not be forgotten the many commuters and low-income citizens, she said: "We want both: reach the climate goals by 2030 and preserve the social peace." If a CO2 price have a steering effect, so should immediately lead to behavioral changes, then 20 or 30 euros would not be enough, said the acting SPD chairman. "I could say we're forcing everything on the price tomorrow, no matter who pays that." But that would sharply worsen the division in the country.
Juso boss Kevin Kuhnert reminded in the "Rheinische Post", in the climate policy "social acceptance" is important. He campaigned for a "climate dialogue" between politics and citizens. As content improvements to the climate package Kühnert demanded among other tangible relief for people "with normal and low income." Only a climate premium, ie a sum paid back directly from the tax office, ensures actual redistribution.