Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa
The coalition clash over the planned heating law of Economics Minister Habeck continues. The Association of Cities and Municipalities also has some points of criticism.
Berlin – After the violently escalated coalition clash over the heating law, the search for compromises is now to begin. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) has already signaled over Pentecost what improvements can be put on the table – especially with the start date and the hardship regulations, the draft law could now be improved. However, the Association of Cities and Municipalities insists on two other fundamental points that should be taken into account.
Habeck's heating law: Association of cities wants to focus more on wood
The fact that Habeck is now signaling a willingness to compromise on the heating law is a good sign, said Chief Executive Gerd Landsberg on Sunday to the Funke media group. From his point of view, however, there is no way around a fundamental revision. The planned building energy law is well-intentioned, but poorly done, he said. "Instead of climate enthusiasm, climate frustration arises – and with it the danger of losing the necessary acceptance of the population," he warned.
The Association of Towns and Municipalities is therefore calling for wood to continue to be used in the energy transition. "Wood energy is not only climate-friendly and sustainable, but it also offers high CO2 savings potential," said Managing Director Gerd Landsberg to the newspapers of the Funke Media Group.
Pellet heating systems have been subsidized by the federal government for years, and many municipalities use them to heat schools, town halls and administrative buildings. Private households also rely on this concept. What was subsidized by the state yesterday cannot be the devil's work today. The opportunity to generate energy from wood should "not be squandered for ideological reasons," Landsberg told Funke.
According to the draft, the controversial Building Energy Act by Habeck and Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) prohibits wood-fired heating systems in new buildings. Habeck had recently shown a willingness to compromise. The bill is already open to technology. "But we should also strengthen this again, as the debate about wood pellets shows," he told the Funke newspapers.
Energy transition: More weight for 180,000 municipal buildings
In addition, the federal government advocates giving more weight to the municipalities with their 180,000 buildings. Chief Executive Gerd Landsberg referred to schools, daycare centers, sports halls and town halls to the Funke media group on Sunday. "More than 165,000 properties are currently still heated with gas or oil," Landsberg said. Those who start here can achieve "a lot for the climate in a short time".
Municipal heat planning with district and local heating networks is a huge opportunity to advance climate protection and not to overwhelm people, Landsberg said. "This project – carried out with a sense of reality, specifically promoted and coordinated with the municipalities – could be the big hit in the heat transition," he added.
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The current legislative plans aim to ensure that from next year onwards, at least 65 percent of every newly installed heating system must be powered by green energy. Alternatively, it is also possible to switch to climate-neutrally generated heat from a heating network. (lma/dpa/AFP)