Still no Compromise on CCS and Energy-Efficient Renovation Bills

The Mediation Committee of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat) has not yet found a compromise on the controversial CCS bill and the Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings, the Bundesrat informed.

The debate on the matter had been adjourned, the Bundesrat said, without specifying a date.

The Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings (Gesetz zur steuerlichen Förderung von energetischen Sanierungsmaßnahmen an Wohngebäuden) was the only bill of the 2011 energy legislative package, which the Bundesrat did not approve of. It aims at promoting the energy-efficient renovation of buildings older than 1995 by giving tax incentives. A majority of federal states represented in the Bundesrat opposed the bill for fear of tax losses, which they demanded to be compensated for by the Federation.

The Mediation Committee’s task is to find consensus between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat in order to get a majority in the Bundesrat. As the bill is a so-called Zustimmungsgesetz (consent law), consent by the Bundesrat is necessary for the bill to enter into force. Unlike with so-called Einspruchsgesetzen (objection laws), a lack of consent cannot be remedied by another Bundestag’s vote in favour of the bill.

The lack of a compromise is somewhat surprising. Before the committee’s meeting various trade associations had made last minute appeals, pointing out the positive impact of tax incentives for regional businesses and thus the federal states. The government on the other hand has singled out the energy-efficiency of buildings as an essential aspect of the government’s 2011 energy concept.  The building sector accounts for 40% of Germany’s energy consumption. Without the implementation of the Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Building, its strategy remains partly incomplete.

The lack of a compromise on the controversial Act on the Demonstration and Implementation of Technologies for Carbon Capture, Transport and Permanent Storage of C02 (CCS Act) means that Germany again failed to transpose Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide into German law. Hence, the infringement proceedings for non-compliance, which the European Commission reportedly started after the lapsing of the deadline of 25 June 2011, will continue. As for the bill on energy-efficient renovations, a compromise between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat needs to be brought about for the bill to enter into force.

Source: Bundesrat (Federal Council)

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