A commentary posted by Thomas Sigmund at the online German business daily “Handelsblatt” here warns of the consequences of introducing a CO2 tax in Germany.
The German greens and socialists have been calling for ramping up climate protection efforts as a way to reboot the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 economic meltdown and that the country should not return to its “old structures.”
The latest figures suggest Germany’s economy is starting its worst recession in its postwar history. 10.1 million people in Germany registered for reduced work hours by April 26, far beyond all the forecasts of economists.
Sigmund writes that going even more green and putting “further burdens” on the economy are not the answer. He writes that the climate protection plans drawn up earlier, in a time of full employment, “will not last” and that Chancellor Merkel “has even greater concerns at the moment.”
Would only exacerbate already deep recession
“It is difficult to imagine that in this historic economic downturn further burdens will be imposed on companies,” Sigmund comments. “Those who continue to demand that CO2 emissions be priced are exacerbating the recession and torpedoing the planned economic stimulus package.”
A matter of “preventing mass unemployment”
Sigmund adds: “The shutdown gives us an idea of what industrialization means. It’s now a matter of preventing mass unemployment and not making the social explosives even bigger.”
At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, an informal preparation for the UN Climate Summit in autumn – done via video link – Chancellor Angela Merkel said climate protection would not be pushed off the political agenda in the EU, and would be “just as much on the agenda as health issues”.