The heating law of the traffic light government is controversial. Climate researchers are now calling for a fresh start and presenting an alternative.
Munich – From 2024, 65 percent of newly installed heating systems will have to be powered by renewable energies. This is provided for by the new heating law of the traffic light government. Failure to comply may result in severe penalties.
But the planned law is controversial. The innovation recently caused controversy in the Federal Council. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), on the other hand, has now called for a complete restart. Does this mean that the Heating Act is no longer valid? You can read here what the researchers are proposing instead.
Heating law and traffic light in the criticism: climate researcher proposes a new start
"My recommendation to the traffic lights would be to take a deep breath, take a step back and make a new attempt for the heating turnaround," PIK director Ottmar Edenhofer told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. His suggestion: It would be wiser to work with emission caps and the CO2 price.
"The traffic light has become tangled up in climate protection," warned the climate economist with a view to the coalition dispute over the planned law. Currently, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) is trying to get the Building Energy Act through the Bundestag. According to FDP Secretary-General Bijan Djir-Sarai, however, a adoption before the summer break is "out of the question," he told Bild.
A new start for Habeck's heating law? Climate researchers with an alternative
In order to get out of the mess, Edenhofer proposes to focus more on national certificate trading for fuel emissions. His suggestion: to gradually raise the price of gas. In the so-called Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG), an upper limit for emissions could be set, which would gradually make heating with gas more expensive. In order to protect citizens from a price shock, the increase could be capped, according to the climate researcher. "With the SESTA, the government really has all the legal options in its hands."
Climate researcher Ottmar Edenhofer doesn't think much of the traffic light heating law. Instead, he proposes to work with emission caps and the CO2 price. © Annette Riedl/dpa
It has always been said that it would be difficult to enforce higher CO2 prices. "But detailed regulations such as the Heating Replacement Act also annoy people and are difficult to enforce," said the institute director. Edenhofer would therefore like to see: "Clear communication from the government that explains to people why heating with gas must become more expensive, what price increases can be expected and who will be protected from the price increases with which refunds." Recently, the situation on the energy markets has eased significantly – consumers can also benefit from this. According to the comparison portal Verivox, the gas price for new customers is currently around 10 cents per kilowatt hour gross.
Olaf Scholz sees concerns about the heating law largely dispelled
That would at least be accepted by the population. Then there would be no need for heating bans, according to Edenhofer. Rather, people would switch to less CO2-intensive heating systems on their own in order to save costs. Climate protection must be explained in an understandable way and socially acceptable – i.e. reimburse low-income people for the additional costs of CO2 pricing.
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The concepts for this are ready. "If they are not used, politicians should not be surprised that their climate protection agenda is not understood and accepted. If you don't have tailor-made compensation measures at hand, you don't even need to start," the researcher concluded.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees it differently. Most of the concerns that are currently being discussed are "no longer justified with regard to the draft law that currently exists, but relate to a rough draft that was not intended for publication," the chancellor said in an interview with ntv. No one would be "economically and socially overwhelmed" with the current version. Precautions have been taken for this. It remains to be seen what the law will look like in the end. (kas/dpa)