Union leader Vassiliads: "Ever stricter savings targets"
Photo: Martin Schutt / picture alliance / dpa
In the discussion about climate protection rising CO₂ prices, the headwind of the employee representatives is growing.
Before the first reading of the new climate protection law this Thursday in the Bundestag, the head of the mining, chemicals and energy union (IG BCE), Michael Vassiliadis, calls for more concrete plans and at the same time warns of a new social imbalance.
"With the new Climate Protection Act, the federal government is staying true to its tradition - formulating ever stricter savings targets without specifying the practical implementation and without carrying out an impact assessment," Vassiliadis told SPIEGEL. The Federal Constitutional Court has just ordered the government to present a more concrete roadmap for the climate-friendly restructuring of industrial society in the coming decades. Little of that can be found in the law, however.
"The state has already decided on a number of 'exits'; it must now encourage entry into new technologies that then have to work, at least in the long term, without taxpayers' money," said the union boss.
Germany should set itself ambitious goals and move forward with climate protection, but this is only possible if there is a social consensus on this and all those involved come up with concepts to do their part.
Protection for the weakest
At the same time, Vassiliadis urged a social balance.
Rising CO₂ prices would hit the weakest in society hardest.
"If climate protection is not designed very quickly and in a very concrete way, it creates a new climate precariat," said the union leader.
"We are therefore demanding a lump-sum climate fee to compensate for ever increasing taxes."
The income from the CO₂ tax would have to be returned in full to the citizens as a “uniform per capita payment”. The weaker would benefit more than average from this and the ecological steering effect would be preserved. In addition, Vassiliadis wants a higher mobility allowance for growing commuter costs and protection against rent increases in energy-efficient building renovations.