NRW Adopts Climate Protection Act

Yesterday, the parliament of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia passed a bill on a state climate protection act presented by the coalition government comprised of the Social Democrats and Alliance ’90/The Greens. Green Party State Environment Minister Johannes Remmel pointed out that it was the first German climate protection law with green house gas emission reduction targets. According to the new law total green house gas emissions in NRW shall be reduced by at least 25% until 2020 and by at least 80% until 2050 compared with 1990.

To reach the above targets the government announced to draw up a climate protection plan involving all social groups that shall be adopted by the state parliament this year and thereafter updated every five years. An expert committee shall monitor compliance with the climate protection targets and advise the state government in setting up and developing the climate protection plan.

NRW would remain a highly industrialised state with a strong energy sector, Mr Remmel said. Yet NRW had a special responsibility for reaching Europe’s climate protection objectives, as the state emitted one third of Germany’s greenhouse gases, generated almost 30% of the electricity consumed in Germany, accounted for almost a quarter of the gross energy consumption and 40% of the national industry consumption. “We strive for ambitious climate protection while strengthening the domestic industry. It is the right approach to focus on both objectives at the same time”, Mr Remmel said, adding that climate protection would create jobs and enhance the competitiveness of the state.

Local industry was nevertheless opposed to the new law, the Düsseldorf-based newspaper Rheinische Post writes. According to the paper, the industry and in particular the chemical industry sees the climate protection act as a threat for their business locations in NRW. Some legal experts even had doubts regarding the constitutionality of the law, RP further says. The spatial planning law provided that the interests of all parties concerned had to be reviewed and balanced when a business wanted to open a new location. With the new law giving climate protection priority, this principle was restricted.

Source: State of North Rhine-Westphalia; Rheinische Post; NRW Climate Protection Act Bill; Committee Recommendation

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2 Responses to “NRW Adopts Climate Protection Act”

  • It is stunning to see the disconnect of German government leaders to economic reality!
    What are their plans for the de-industrialization of Germany?
    How can their businesses compete with ever higher energy costs and planning restrictions?
    This current crop of fear mongers, be they from the left or the right, each exhibit not even the tiniest understanding of how modern economies grow and the conditions necessary for such growth to occur!

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