Federal Minister for Economic Affairs: Robert Habeck. © Sina Schuldt/dpa
In the traffic light coalition, negotiations are underway on the heating law. There are fundamentally different views on the way to achieve the climate targets. There are now answers to 77 questions from the FDP.
Berlin - In the dispute over the heating law, the Ministry of Economics has defended its course. In answers to questions from the FDP, the department of Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) opposes a path proposed by the FDP - a control of the price for the emission of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2).
The ministry warns of the danger that without price caps, energy prices could skyrocket. However, this should be avoided against the background of the experience of last year's energy crisis. Jumps in energy prices could lead to "severe social and economic upheavals".
According to the ministry, Habeck had invited the reporters of the three traffic light parliamentary groups on Tuesday evening to answer 77 questions asked by the FDP rapporteurs. The answers to these questions are now also available in writing, they were available to the German Press Agency.
The FDP wants fundamental improvements to a draft law passed by the cabinet. This stipulates that from the beginning of 2024 onwards, at least 65 percent of every newly installed heating system will be powered by green energy. The changeover is to be cushioned socially by state subsidies, and there are also to be transitional periods and hardship regulations.
FDP parliamentary group deputy Lukas Köhler recently spoke out in favour of introducing emissions trading in Germany for transport and buildings as early as 2024 - an introductory phase with a fixed price for CO2026 emissions is currently scheduled until 2. "The prospect of rising CO2 prices in emissions trading is the best incentive for people to reduce emissions when heating and driving," says Köhler. "In contrast to bans and regulations, emissions trading also provides additional revenue that we can repay equally to people as climate money in order to ensure social balance." At the same time, a "technology-open building energy law" could be passed.
"A mix of instruments is necessary for the heat transition"
The Ministry of Economics wrote in the questionnaire that the price development in emissions trading and the development of market prices for fossil fuels over longer periods of time is difficult to predict for owners, who usually have no experience in the energy markets, and therefore hardly to be adequately taken into account when making investment decisions.
A mix of instruments is necessary for the heat transition. "The decision in favour of a modern heating system based on at least 65 percent renewable energies is often associated with higher investment costs, but these are likely to pay for themselves, especially taking into account the long-term cost effects of emissions trading."
Habeck was more confident on Wednesday that the reform of the Building Energy Act - the so-called Heating Act - can be passed by the Bundestag before the summer break. The summer break begins after July 7th. Due to fundamental concerns, the FDP had prevented the draft law on heating replacement, which had already been passed by the cabinet, from being dealt with for the first time in the Bundestag. This could now happen in mid-June.
"Don't wait for what will be decided in Brussels"
The 77 questions and answers deal with many details about the draft law. The ministry writes that, depending on the long-term scenario, between 2045 and 13 million heat pumps would be needed in 18 for a climate-neutral heat supply to the building sector. Germany is to become climate-neutral by 2045. According to industry figures, around 1.2 million customers in Germany are currently using heat pumps.
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In response to the question of what funds should be used to provide any state funding after the funds of the Climate and Transformation Fund have already been severely exhausted or oversubscribed, the ministry replied: The Climate and Transformation Fund - a special pot in addition to the normal federal budget - was "adequate" to provide the necessary financial resources.
Furthermore, with a view to negotiations in the EU, for example on a new building directive, the ministry writes that it is also important against this background to quickly come to an agreement on the amendment to the Building Energy Act. "A national legal regulation that has already been adopted strengthens our negotiating position in Brussels. Under no circumstances should we wait to see what is decided in Brussels, but actively shape it in Germany." dpa