On Thursday, 29 April 2021, Germany’s Constitutional Court declared the German Climate Change Act of 2019 as partly unconstitutional. In their unanimous ruling, the judges found that the law disproportionately shifts the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to future generations, directly threatening the future exercise of their constitutional rights to freedom.
With national elections only four months away and polls showing the German Green Party to close in on the leading conservative CDU/CSU, the Court’s ruling caused frantic action in the German coalition government. Already on 30 April, it became clear that a fast reform of the Climate Law before the national election was possible. On 6 May, Chancellor Merkel (CDU) and Vice-Chancellor Scholz (SPD) publicly confirmed the government’s intention to increase Germany’s 2030 climate target to 65 percent greenhouse emission reductions, compared to 55 percent today, to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045 and net removals after 2050. Parliamentary decisions on necessary amendments to the German Climate Law are yet to come, but widely expected to run smoothly with the leadership of both Parties in the current government firmly committed.
Germany’s new emissions reduction pathway will be similar to the one proposed in the “Climate Neutral Germany by 2045” study by Stiftung Klimaneutralität, Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende.
This online event offered the opportunity to join our experts when exploring implications for the German and EU climate and energy transition debates ahead of the German national elections and ahead of the European Council on 25 May that will debate the Commission’s upcoming Fit for 55 Package. The 1.5-hour event was held in English and included a Q&A session.
The presentation can be found in the download section below.
The recording can be found above.