30.10.2021 – 01:00
New Osnabrück Newspaper
Climate economist Edenhofer calls for city tolls and abolition of diesel subsidies
PIK Director: Traffic light must make traffic climate-friendly through energy tax reform – “Buildings and electricity sectors must save CO2 more quickly”
Osnabrück. The leading climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer demands that the traffic light negotiators introduce a city toll and abolish “counterproductive” subsidies for diesel or kerosene in order to save more CO2 in the transport sector. “Instruments like a city toll are needed to avoid climate-damaging traffic jams in cities and generate new income,” said the President of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an interview with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). “London has been showing this for a long time, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin have to follow suit as quickly as possible. The coalition should set the course here.” The diesel privilege must “definitely fall,” added the scientist, and “there is also no need for funding for hybrid cars whose carbon footprint is questionable.”
Edenhofer encouraged the SPD, Greens and FDP to make a “big hit”: “The traffic light should muster the strength for an energy tax reform” in order to make the transport sector climate-friendly. “The finance minister receives 40 billion euros in energy taxes every year. The more e-cars are on the road, the less money comes in. You have to compensate for that, for example by removing counterproductive subsidies and thus accelerating the conversion.” A city toll must also be part of the reform.
However, even then, it would not be possible to reduce as much CO2 in the transport sector as the outgoing government stipulated in the climate protection law. “The savings that we will not be able to achieve in transport by 2030 must also be achieved by the building and electricity sectors so that the bottom line is sufficient. Because emissions have to be reduced, of course, and quickly,” said Edenhofer, which is why the existing sector targets should be more flexible be made. “Here I see a very central challenge for the coalition negotiations in order to achieve the overall goal. Because it is possible to save CO2 more quickly in buildings and in the energy sector.”
Climate economist Edenhofer: Ampel must raise the CO2 price to at least 130 euros per ton in 2030
PIK director for per capita reimbursement against social hardship – “It is essential to set the course now”
Osnabrück. Climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer has asked the traffic light negotiators to raise the CO2 price significantly. “In 2030 we need a price of 130 to 150 euros per tonne of CO2 in order to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and thus make a contribution to limiting climate risks such as extreme weather,” said the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an interview with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). “The traffic light coalition should agree on such an order of magnitude for a price corridor in order to also set the direction with a view to other countries.”
The outgoing federal government’s climate protection law stipulates a price increase to 55 euros per ton by 2025. Until then, that is sufficient. “But the course must be set now in order to achieve the reduction targets for traffic and the building sector”, said Edenhofer of the “NOZ”.
The state must return the income from CO2 pricing to the citizens in order to avert social hardship, the scientist demanded. “With a CO2 price of 50 euros per ton and a lump-sum per capita reimbursement, a low-income household of four people would get around 260 euros per year after deducting the direct burdens they have to bear due to the CO2 price.” Low-income households usually have a smaller carbon footprint than higher-income households. “With the reimbursement, you would have more on the bottom line. The costs of CO2 pricing would have to be borne by the medium-sized and, above all, the richer households.” The per capita reimbursement is an administrative challenge. “But that shouldn’t fail to create a social balance,” said Edenhofer.
The PIK director did not accept any objections that city dwellers would benefit more from the flat-rate reimbursement than people in rural regions with longer commutes and larger houses: “The difference between town and country is not that serious, we calculated that. Come on If there are imbalances, one can follow the Austrian example and differentiate the per capita reimbursement regionally. Solutions can therefore also be found for this. “
Climate economist Edenhofer expects coal-off “definitely” before 2030 even without a traffic light decision
PIK Director: EU guidelines will soon force lignite and hard coal out of the market – “Political dispute ignores realities”
Osnabrück. Climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer expects the end of coal-fired power generation in Germany before 2030, even if the traffic light coalitionaries should not take a corresponding decision. Lignite and hard coal would “definitely no longer have a place in our power grid before 2030, their fate is sealed,” said the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an interview with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). “In this respect, the political dispute over an earlier coal phase-out than 2038 is bypassing the realities.” A traffic light decision for an earlier coal cut “would only mean compensation for the operators or additional support for the federal states particularly affected by it, so it would be more expensive for the taxpayer.”
As a justification, Edenhofer referred to the climate protection goals already adopted in Brussels and Berlin. “In the EU, the upper limit for emissions will soon be lowered, which means that the price of CO2 will rise. As a result, hard coal and lignite will become unprofitable and will be pushed out of the electricity market,” said the PIK President. He thinks it is “out of the question” that the new federal government in Brussels will oppose it. The goal of climate neutrality by 2045 is already set in the German Climate Protection Act. And that can only be achieved with a coal stop before 2030.
The climate economist considers a nuclear power revival to be absurd, despite the expansion announcements of several European countries. “Let’s wait and see how many new reactors are actually built. As a climate economist, I can only say that generating nuclear power is significantly more expensive than wind power and photovoltaics,” he said. “We can produce enough green electricity to initiate the transformation, we don’t need nuclear energy for that.”
Climate economist Edenhofer considers the Ministry of Climate Protection to be dispensable
PIK Director: Much would speak for coordination in the Chancellery – warning of “departmental egoism”
Osnabrück. From the point of view of climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer, a separate climate protection ministry is not absolutely necessary for more climate protection. “There are a lot of arguments in favor of locating the coordination in the Chancellery,” as SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz announced during the election campaign, said the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an interview with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). “But you could also bundle the competencies in a climate protection ministry”, he was “agnostic” on the question.
“It is crucial that the government develops an overall strategy and that the ministries finally overcome their silo thinking”, so the appeal of the PIK director. “It would be very bad if the ministries act against each other instead of with each other, as in the outgoing government.” From the expansion of renewables to the hydrogen strategy and synthetic fuels to negative emissions – i.e. technologies to extract CO2 from the atmosphere – everything has to be managed together. “With departmental egoism that cannot succeed.”
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