Federal Environment Agency proposes drastic measures for the turnaround in traffic

One of the biggest polluters

“When it comes to climate protection, traffic is heading in the wrong direction,” said the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dirk Messner, of the German Press Agency. “Without massive efforts there, too, there will be nothing overall with climate protection.” Much more effective measures are needed in the transport sector.

Transport is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in Germany – and the transport sector is the only area that has not reduced its greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990.

Doubling the CO2Price

“What is even worse: We will also clearly miss the goals we have set ourselves from the Climate Protection Act by 2030 in the transport sector if we do not make massive adjustments,” said Messner. “With the measures currently resolved, we will end up with 28 million tons too much in 2025 and even 41 million more than the legal targets in 2030.”

However, this huge gap can be closed. The Federal Environment Agency submitted comprehensive reform proposals. So should the CO2-Price will be at least doubled from 2022 compared to the previous plan. That would mean significantly rising petrol and diesel prices.

Messner: Increase possible in a socially acceptable way

“Even if fuel prices are currently very high, the prices for gasoline and diesel do not tell the ecological truth,” said Messner. “From a climate and environmental protection point of view, it makes sense to reduce the CO2-Price will continue to increase. And this is also possible in a socially acceptable manner if the state uses the additional income from the CO2-Prices are used to significantly reduce the EEG surcharge and at the same time promote climate-friendly drive technologies. “

Messner went on to say: “I am aware that the current fuel prices at petrol stations discourage many from having these discussions. But we have to be honest and discuss all options. This includes increasing CO2-Prices and repayments to citizens together. “

ADAC: acceptance endangered

The ADAC expressed sharp criticism. A constant “outbidding competition” would jeopardize the acceptance of climate protection measures, explained ADAC traffic president Gerhard Hillebrand (Thursday). “Such massive price signals hit the population at a time when some of them are already at their limit and alternatives are simply not available in sufficient quantities.”

Because the expansion of local public transport and the charging infrastructure for e-cars is only making slow progress. In addition, the energy prices rose to new highs due to the market: “Nevertheless, the Federal Environment Agency wants to burden consumers with an orgy of taxes.”

Schulze: good advice meant

Minister Schulze reacted cautiously to the proposals of the authority, which belongs to the portfolio of the Ministry of the Environment. “The SPD, Greens and FDP are currently receiving well-intentioned advice from all sides on what to do,” said the SPD politician.

“It is now up to the parties to negotiate the coalition agreement for this government. One thing is clear: together we want to accelerate climate protection.”

Federal Environment Agency: abolish diesel privilege

The proposals of the Federal Environment Agency include a higher CO2-Price and other controversial points: The so-called diesel privilege should be gradually abolished from 2023 – so far, diesel has been taxed less than gasoline. The tax “subsidization” of company cars should be gradually phased out from 2022 and a general speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour on motorways should be introduced.

The SPD, the Greens and the FDP have already rejected a speed limit. That cannot be done with the liberals.

Controversial commuter allowance

The proposal by the Federal Environment Agency to abolish the commuter allowance from 2027 is also likely to be highly controversial. You set false incentives for climate protection, so the authority. The flat rate supports the trend towards long commutes.

At the same time, commutes to work would be more often covered in cars with only one occupant. In order to cushion social hardship, travel costs in hardship cases should be taken into account in income tax.

Additional billions for public transport

“Of course we will again be accused of opening the usual ‘poison cabinet'”, said Messner. “But it is the bitter truth that we have lost a lot of time in the transport sector and therefore now have to move many adjusting screws at the same time in order for the climate change to succeed.”

In order for more people to switch from their cars to other modes of transport, local public transport, cycling and rail would have to be massively expanded with additional billions of euros. A car toll should also be introduced on all roads from around 2030. “A mileage-dependent car toll creates incentives to shorten car journeys or to save them entirely or to switch to more climate-friendly means of transport instead,” it says in the paper.

Contribution through car toll

A car toll would make the largest contribution to road financing in the future. This is also necessary because the increasing electrification of transport leads to falling revenues from the energy tax. The introduction of a car toll in Germany was stopped by the European Court of Justice in 2019. (dpa / jk)


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