Study: Key environmental and economic players call on next German government for more ambitious climate policy
Berlin, November 11, 2021. According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Sustainability at the Hertie School in Berlin and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern, leading players in German environmental and economic policy demand a more ambitious climate policy from the next German government. In the study, the researchers surveyed 47 non-governmental organisations, associations and other organisations significantly influencing German climate policy. Different from expected, the study shows there is a broad consensus, e.g. on tightening policy measures, and increasing CO2 prices.
Prof. Dr. Christian Flachsland, Director of the Centre for Sustainability and co-author of the study says: "The results indicate that more than 80 percent of leading German organisations from business, administration, civil society and academia want to see a more strategic planning process. This includes that the Chancellor's Office should take on a stronger coordinating role in cross-government climate policy. 70 percent of respondents call for this."
Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold, political scientist and project lead at the University of Bern, says: "The strong support of German organisations for ambitious climate policies and higher CO2 prices at the European level could become an important factor for more comprehensive climate protection in the entire European economic area."
Dr. Lukas Fesenfeld, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern and lead author of the study, says: "We were particularly surprised by the survey results on CO2 pricing. About 90 per cent of the respondents want the German government to rely primarily on CO2 prices as a climate protection instrument, and a clear majority would like to see at least a minimum price."
Dr. Sebastian Levi, postdoctoral researcher at the Hertie School and co-author of the study, says: "From the data collected, we can clearly see that the majority of major German associations, non-governmental organisations and ministries want the next federal German government to pursue an ecologically effective and socially just climate policy. SPD, Greens and FDP should keep this in mind during the coalition talks. Revenues from CO2 pricing could, for example, be used for a per capita refund for private households and to promote climate protection measures. The rest of the revenue could be made available to low-income earners and businesses to relieve their burden."
Further key figures from the study:
- Over 80% of organisations surveyed want the next federal government to initiate a strategic, cross-government planning process.
- Over 95% of respondents call for the next federal government to adopt comprehensive policy packages to implement climate goals.
- More than 90% call for ecological effectiveness to achieve the Paris climate goals and social equity to become the key decision-making criteria for these climate programs.
- More than 90% of respondents want the German government to rely primarily on carbon pricing as a climate protection tool.
- More than 60% of respondents favour the federal government relying primarily on regulatory measures (e.g. stricter emissions standards and bans).
- A clear majority (75%) of all organisations surveyed call for a minimum price per ton of CO2 to be set in principle as part of emissions trading.
- On average, those respondents who indicated their preference call on the next federal government to raise the CO2 price to at least 50 euros (currently 25 euros) per ton of CO2 as soon as possible. From 2025 it should be at least 88 euros, and from 2030 at least 126 euros.
The study is based on the results of a representative target group survey of 47 leading players who influence Germany's climate policy. In a next step, the researchers want to work out which coalition patterns exist among stakeholders from business, science, politics and civil society.
All study results can be found here:
The Hertie School in Berlin prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. The school offers master’s programmes, executive education and doctoral programmes, distinguished by interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, as well as outstanding research. Its extensive international network positions it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The School was founded in 2003 by the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major funder. The Hertie School is accredited by the state and the German Science Council. www.hertie-school.org
The Oeschger Centre for Climate Research (OCCR) is one of the University of Bern's strategic centres. It brings together researchers from 14 institutes and four faculties. The OCCR conducts interdisciplinary research at the forefront of climate science. The Oeschger Centre was founded in 2007 and bears the name of Hans Oeschger (1927-1998), a pioneer of modern climate research who worked in Bern. www.oeschger.unibe.ch
Alina Zurmühlen, Associate Press & Public Relations, Hertie School
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