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Demand for a higher CO2 price: ADAC accuses the Environment Agency of “tax orgy”

Demand for a higher CO2 price
ADAC accuses the Environment Agency of “tax orgy”

The ADAC sharply rejects the demands of the Federal Environment Agency to comply with the climate targets in the transport sector – these came from the “ivory tower”. The motorists’ club warns of a loss of acceptance for climate protection among the population. Greenpeace naturally sees it differently.

Higher fuel prices, a speed limit and no more right of way for car traffic in traffic planning: The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has submitted new proposals on how the transport sector can be brought to meet the climate targets in the future – and thus triggered sharp criticism from the automobile club ADAC. ADAC traffic president Gerhard Hillebrand accused the authority of a “tax orgy”.

Hillebrand said the UBA argued “out of the ivory tower”. “The expansion of public transport and charging infrastructure is making slow progress, energy prices are rising to new highs due to the market, and yet the Federal Environment Agency wants to burden consumers with an orgy of taxes,” he criticized. Hillebrand warned that “the constant competition” would jeopardize the population’s acceptance of climate protection measures.

Greenpeace traffic expert Tobias Austrup, on the other hand, stated that the Federal Environment Agency was saying “the obvious: traffic can only catch up with its climate deficit if a whole series of screws is turned at the same time”. Climate protection in traffic does not fail because of social compatibility – the “horrific climate-damaging subsidies in traffic” favor “high earners in particular,” he criticized.

UBA calls for Tempo 30 as the standard speed

The reason for the UBA’s proposals is the fact that the transport sector is responsible for around a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Transport is the only sector that has not been able to reduce its carbon footprint in the past few decades. As a result, according to UBA data, the relative share of emissions has increased by seven percentage points since 1990.

On Wednesday the UBA published a paper according to which the direction in the transport sector was not right with the climate protection measures currently being adopted by politicians and the approaches were “by far” insufficient to achieve the climate protection targets by 2030.

As a way out, the authority, which is part of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, suggests ending the preference for car traffic in road traffic law and thus, for example, enabling municipalities to reserve roads exclusively for public transport. The introduction of 30 km / h as the maximum speed limit in urban areas is also suggested, not least to make cycling and walking more attractive and safer.

Commuter lump sums and diesel privilege should go away

In addition, the authority lists eight elements, some of which are interrelated: firstly, more electrification and efficiency in cars and secondly in trucks, thirdly, the reduction of “climate-damaging subsidies” such as the commuter allowance or the diesel privilege, and fourthly, “polluter-based pricing”, for which purpose In addition to a significantly higher CO2 price as early as 2022, there will also be a car toll from 2030.

The UBA mentions a speed limit of 120 km / h on motorways and 80 km / h outside urban areas as the fifth component, then as the sixth an expansion of the railways, as the seventh an increase in local public transport, bicycle and foot traffic as well as sharing services and then the last “Post-fossil fuels” made from green hydrogen, for example, which, according to the Federal Environment Agency, will only play a subordinate role in traffic until 2030.

A traffic turnaround needs “courageous decisions and perseverance far beyond 2030,” says the Federal Office’s paper. But it is also clear that the effort beyond climate protection is worthwhile – for example, it also increases the quality of life and makes public space “a meeting place for everyone”.

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