Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

European Green Deal: German government lobbying for automobile industry

Dear friends, dear interested,

The European Green Deal is not even three months old, but the German government is already trying to water down the high ambitions. In the Green Deal, the European Commission announced it will adapt all climate-related laws to the goal of climate neutrality as quickly as possible. In addition to laws on energy efficiency and renewable energy, this naturally also includes the rules governing emissions from the transport sector. But when it comes to cars, the German government is lobbying for the automobile industry in Brussels. Today, the German newspaper “Die Zeit” reports online about an alarming letter by Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for the Green Deal. I have the letter at my disposal. In this letter, Altmaier calls on the EU Commission to exempt the automotive sector from a tightening of CO2 emission limits until 2030. Although it is very clear that all sectors of the European economy must contribute to achieving the goals of the Green Deal, the automotive industry is to be granted exemptions at the request of the German government. While the European Commission is leading the way on climate protection, the German government is pulling the brakes.

The audacity of the letter: The European Commission is legally obliged to review the maximum CO2 emissions of cars in 2030 by 2023 at the latest and adjust them if necessary. The European Parliament and the Council – meaning with the participation of the German Federal Government – had agreed on this only last year. The European Commission even announced in the Green Deal that it will bring forward this review to July 2021 – in order to reduce emissions as quickly as possible and create planning security for the automotive industry. The German government is therefore calling on the Commission to undermine existing EU law.

It is scandalous that the German government is publicly speaking out in favour of the principles of the Green Deal, but is lobbying for the automotive industry on the quiet. Germany must abandon its role as Europe’s brake pad as quickly as possible, because the Green Deal will only be effective if it is binding on all sectors of the European economy. We Greens will continue to campaign loud and clear in the European Parliament to ensure that the European Commission can carry out its ambitious work programme to implement the Green Deal as planned – and push for improvements wherever necessary.

With resolute Green greetings
Sven Giegold

To read up: the article published today in Die Zeit (in German): https://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2020-02/green-deal-peter-altmaier-autoindustrie-abgasregeln-klimaschutz

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