Thursday 28 November 2019
For months the Union and the SPD have been fighting for the climate package. The Bundestag has already passed the big blocks of the law. However, countries should first lower their fingers. There are many concerns, even in cases where the Greens do not govern themselves.
Just before the Federal Council vote on important parts of the climate package, many countries still have requests for change, which could also overturn the calendar of the grand coalition. Above all, the ten state governments in which the Greens are involved will probably not be in agreement this Friday. But there are also concerns with others. It is entirely possible for a mediation committee to find compromises.
The doubts that this will happen until the last meeting of this year of December 20 are great. The Minister of Environment of Baden-Württemberg, Franz Untersteller of the Greens, said that the climate package in its current form should not be mentioned in the Bundesrat. Fundamental now is what is happening in the mediation committee, because in reality only some changes to the tax legislation require the approval of the countries. These include the increase in commuter tax, the reduction of VAT for train tickets and the tax incentive for the renovation of buildings.
Three other laws – the law on climate change, the increase in taxes on tickets for flights and the introduction of a price of CO2 for transport and heating – do not require approval. Untersteller said that in addition to tax issues, the price of CO2 must also be negotiated again. Although a rapid agreement in the conciliation committee is "desirable", the fact that "essential points" are at stake is what counts.
A question of finance
The Greens govern in Baden-Württemberg with the CDU as a junior partner. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag that she hopes that by the end of the year solutions can be found: "We as a coalition are ready to do so." The chief financial committee of the Federal Council recommends the referral to the conciliation committee, a joint body of the Federal Council and the Bundestag. It refers to "significant financial and administrative burdens" of states and municipalities, while emerging revenues have remained exclusively with the federal government.
The Environment Committee also recommends substantially reviewing the law of the conciliation committee. Financial problems arose in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the CDU and the flight service period govern. Federal and state governments are in discussion, a spokesman for the State Chancellery said. The four laws of Friday would have "substantial and systematic connections and connections", but it had to be decided separately. An agreement before December 20 is "ambitious" and requires a high degree of willingness to compromise between all those involved.
The Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther of the CDU, who governs with the FDP and the Greens, had already said no and was also referring to tax losses for federal states and municipalities. In the "New Osnabrücker Zeitung" he had also requested a higher price for the price of CO2, fossil fuels and more expensive heating costs – instead of € 10 2021 he wants € 40 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Hamburg dominated by red-green referred to "different points of view", they first wanted to wait for consultations with other countries.
Kretschmer criticizes the distribution of charges
Thursday evening, representatives of the countries' government meet separately for the Union, SPD and Greens to vote. If a government does not agree internally, it usually must refrain from voting. This also applies to the red-red-green in Bremen, where they also wanted to wait for the electoral rounds and the only "red-yellow-green traffic light" in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The Saxon State Chancellery has stated that the various laws should be considered a "complete package". It is no secret, however, that the Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer of the CDU is skeptical about the climate protection package, since the balance of burdens and burdens on citizens is unbalanced and the burden sharing between the federal government, the federal states and local authorities is not right. Kretschmer, who ruled with the SPD, criticized the national CO2 price for traffic and heating, but also that a higher ticketing fee should make the flight more expensive.
The green-black government in Hesse did not officially have a coordinated position yet – the Green No, but it should be safe. Environment Minister Priska Hinz said: "In our opinion, the federal government's climate package will not be enough to achieve Germany's climate goals." The spokesman for the government of Saxony-Anhalt said that countries would see themselves in favor of federal financial recovery. However, he considered possible compromises between the federal government and the federal states before the meeting. In Magdeburg CDU, SPD and Verdi react together. The Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Manuela Schwesig, of the SPD, considers a mediation committee probable. An exception is Bavaria: Prime Minister Markus Söder was sitting as head of the CSU at the negotiating table of the great federal government coalition, the free state will be of agreement.