The Minister of the environment, interior and environment Ministers of the countries have called on the Federal government, acting unanimously, to consider the introduction of a price on emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This should be done were “already in the current parliamentary term” and “taking into account additional social and fiscal policy instruments to avoid social wrong,” – said in a resolution after a Meeting in Hamburg.

A CO2 price can be a tax or levy, but also the trade with emission certificates, as is provided for in the EU for the energy sector and parts of industry. The goal is to make CO2 emissions more expensive, in order to promote climate-friendly technologies and to guide behaviour. The Federal environment Minister, Svenja Schulze (SPD) is already a concept for a CO2-tax. Her Ministry doubted that the EU can expand the emission trading, for example, on transport and the building sector. The Union still has no clear Position.

“At the end is all the same to me, whether it’s a tax, a levy, or something Third,” said Hamburg’s Senator for the Environment, Jens Kerstan (Green) as Chairman of the Ministerial conference. It is an organic price for CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the truth. “So that the people who behave in a climate-neutral, have an advantage over those who behave climate-schissig,” said Kerstan.

Current measures are too little

The environment Ministers stressed that the measures taken so far by the Federal government to protect the climate would effect no adequate steering. Especially the sectors of industry, transport, buildings and agriculture would have to make their contribution. Germany missed currently, both the own climate protection goals as well as those that the EU writes in a binding manner.

The North Rhine-Westphalian CDU environment Minister, Ursula Heinen-Esser said at the Meeting in Hamburg was also to test a model of the CO2 pricing or taxation. This had to be not only socially acceptable, but also competition neutral. This is for an industrial country such as North Rhine-Westphalia is particularly important. “We can put on our existing tax system,” she said. There are already so many taxes and levies on gasoline, heating oil and electricity. The Union-led Länder were faced with an expansion of emissions trading is not so skeptical.

A CO2-taxation as a steering levy could reasonably have been adopted in the short term, however, said the Hessian state Minister Priska Hinz (Green). Otherwise it will be even more expensive. Because of Germany’s climate protection goals will not comply, threatening penalties. In the Federal budget were provided for three-digit million amounts.

Schulze said it is going to direct the behavior of a price for CO2 emissions. The cars had become for example much more efficient, but it would significantly bought larger car. Thus was won for the environment, nothing. “Who can buy for 100.000 euros, a car and who regularly makes long-distance travel, we can also expect something for the climate to co-Finance”, said the SPD politician.