Savings today, debts tomorrow – Pending cuts on climate protection programmes

To tighten one´s belt, this motto became very popular within the last few months. No matter if you are talking about Greece, Portugal or now Cyprus: Saving is en vogue all over Europe – for a good reason. After all by reducing the spending we have to avoid that our children and grand children have to fight against an indomitable mountain of depths that gives them hardly any option to shape their own future. Also in Germany cuttings costs and spending is ranked high on the agenda. And there are good reasons for that as well. Of course, as part of this process subsidies and aid money have to be questioned, too.

Savings on e-mobility

Now even climate protection programmes are at stake. According to current news the Federal Environment Ministry is going to cut several energy and climate programmes due to a lack of money: Within the next few weeks Peter Altmaier will officially announce the stop of several support programmes for e-mobility, the development of energy storage and the Waldklimafonds. The news magazine Spiegel forecasts the stop of even more climate protection programmes by the end of April.

Green savings

Making the right savings

Independent sources say that 14 individual measures are at stake. All of them used to be funded by the government´s energy and climate fund. This fund is running out of funds as the trade of CO2-certficates does not bring enough money. While the Federal Minster for Environmental Affairs wants to increase the prices of the certificates the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs is blocking these plans. His justification: The industry cannot handle these costs.

More conflicts are just around the corner – The Strompreisbremse (brake for electricity prices)

Besides the conflict between the two Federal Ministers the problem of rising energy prices also causes trouble between the Federal Government and the 16 German states. Cuts are being discussed here as well: The Federal Government wants to reduce the contribution for the green electricity promotion to 5.3 Cent per kWh. By doing this the Federal Government wants to make sure that people´s energy bills will remain on today´s level. One way to achieve that goal will be the cutbacks at the sponsorship for renewable energies. Black-Yellow coalition wants to reduce that on the long run by 600 million Euros, the Federal states only want to accept cutbacks of 200 million Euros.

Savings yes – Savings on natural resources

In our opinion the debate on energy and electricity prices as well as the conflict about the sponsorship for renewable energies and e-mobility base upon one fundamentally wrong thought: We think that huge savings in these areas only increase the costs we will have to pay in the future. The later we manage to substitute fossil fuels by renewable energies the higher the bill we have to pay in the future will be.

Sustainability

Sustainability should be the focus

This is also valid for e-mobility. The established drive concepts rely on oil – and that is definitely finite. Hence the prices for fossil fuels will carry on rising in the future because they will become rare. No matter how strong the government will intervene – the costs will go up, with or without the costs for the contribution for renewable energies.

That´s why we think it is not clever to spend less money on technologies which are essential for the future of our society. These savings might help a small number of people today (maybe), but we are convinced that there will be a massive bill waiting for us, if we carry on wasting the natural resources of our planet. From EIGHT’s point of view it makes much more sense to show people today what damage the fossil fuels already cause. We are convinced that we have to spend more money now … the saving of our planet will not come for free.

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  1. Sass Peress says:

    The German and other EU governments should remember the cost of health care explodes when we cut down trees or increase greenhouse gases. When considering the net effect on budgets, if health cost abatement is considered as part of the benefits of renewable energy or emobility investment, then the swing goes far in the favor of “green” technology investment at higher levels. If however human or planet health is not included in the equation, even carbon credits won’t make up for the shortfall. So the question cannot have the “right” answer if it does not include all “true costs” of reduction of investment in clean energy.

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