CO₂ price on fuel: The climate hypocrites are back

So yes. It's back, the mendacity of climate protection. And that less than six weeks after the groundbreaking ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court on sharper CO2-Saving targets. At the end of April all of the politicians in the World Rescue Team were suddenly there, including all those for whom the judge's verdict was a slap in the face.

But now the old reflexes are stirring again. Hardly had the Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock herself this week Having spoken out in favor of gradually increasing a fuel surcharge to 16 cents, a cross-party alliance of climate hypocrites opened the counterattack.

That Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) the loudest one is, not surprisingly: “It is not possible for prices to keep going up.” The CDU state chief of Saxony-Anhalt, Sven Schulz, who is currently in the final spurt of the election campaign, fumed: “The increase in the Gasoline prices will put a heavy financial strain on millions of people, especially the many commuters. "

From the FDP, their boss Christian Lindner Had advised the climate protestors from Fridays For Future to leave climate protection to the professionals, the suggestion for a "gasoline price brake" was immediately made. Reason: "So that especially those who are not a bed of roses do not have to restrict their standard of living just to stay mobile," as the Liberal parliamentary group vice-president Stephan Thomae put it.

One of them joined in the concert who claimed his candidacy for chancellor "to limit global warming to 1,5 degrees if possible", Olaf Scholz. He also wedges against the Greens proposal: "Anyone who just keeps turning the fuel price screw now shows how indifferent he is to the needs of the citizens," he told the "Bild" newspaper.

But what exactly did Baerbock actually demand? It's about the price that has been paid on every tonne of CO emitted since the beginning of this year2 is charged for the combustion of fuel, heating oil and natural gas. 25 euros per ton of CO2 the fuel suppliers must pull the trigger to the state. Customers pay for it when heating and driving. That's around seven cents per liter of fuel. This pricing is expected to increase in the coming years. This is what the federal government and the GroKo, including Olaf Scholz and Andreas Scheuer, decided.

A CO2-Surcharge with a social component

With the current regulation, a surcharge of 16 cents would be achieved in 2025. Then the CO2-Price is 55 euros per ton, which is about 16 cents more at the pump that the Greens boss Baerbock calls. The stricter climate protection requirements that Union and SPD In the amendment of the Climate Protection Act, it is necessary to refine the measures to reduce CO emissions by 2030 percent in Germany in 652-Emissions to produce annually than in 1990.

The CO2-Price is, along with other instruments such as incentives for building renovation or switching to electric cars, the best mechanism to encourage citizens to behave in a climate-friendly manner. This is what scientists like the climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer or the ex-economist Christoph Schmidt say, and the economy has repeatedly expressed itself positively.

At the same time, Edenhofer demands, citizens would benefit from the income from the CO2-Fuel prices paid out again in the form of a per capita payment. This is also what the federal government wants by lowering the price of electricity with state subsidies. The Greens call this refund, with which social justice is to be established, energy money. In the heated debate that has flared up since this week, this important element is simply being forgotten. Or to be more precise: the protagonists of the green bashing simply ignore it.

The Union also wants higher fuel prices

The Union itself has recently increased its CO levels more quickly2- Propagated prices on fuel. None other than the new CDU climate protection expert Andreas Jung, the candidate for chancellor Armin Laschet after the constitutional court ruling, proposes a price of 2023 euros for 55 (20 euros more than planned), for 2024 then 65 euros. That's how he told SPIEGEL, and that's how he wrote it down in position papers for his chairman Laschet. That makes you almost on par with the Greens, Jung said.

That was at the beginning of May, when it was still a question of catching up with the Greens who were soaring in the polls. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier made these suggestions his own in Maybrit Illner's talk show on ZDF. Quite similar to the CSU regional group chairman in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt. His party colleague Andreas Scheuer doesn't seem to care. For a cheap "Bild" headline, he ignores this fact.

The FDP is similar: in its party program it has the instrument of CO2-Prices are almost proclaimed to be the only tool against global warming. But that would mean much higher surcharges on CO2-Make emissions necessary. Instead of 65 euros, rather 120 euros and more.

The campaign against the Greens reveals how few politicians are willing to fight publicly for climate protection

Higher prices for petrol and diesel sound ominous at first. In a current Survey on behalf of SPIEGEL That is why the majority of those questioned declared that they were against a surcharge from the state. But the rejection is also a result of a lack of information on how CO2 pricing should work. It should lead to making cars with electric drive more economical than climate-damaging cars with combustion engines.

It is true that the higher gasoline costs initially hit everyone who cannot switch immediately and still depends on the car. These are mostly people with lower incomes. But these people benefit from the energy money more proportionally to their income than higher earners. If done cleverly, carbon pricing can lead to a redistribution of money - from top to bottom.

The campaign against the Greens reveals how few politicians are willing to fight publicly for climate protection. Hardly anyone dares to explain to the electorate how such a price system on greenhouse gases works. Hardly anyone wants to take away voters' fear of higher prices. Instead, the citizens are scared of fear with horrendous gasoline costs.

The intention is clear: whether it is Scholz or Scheuer, they want to collect votes. In doing so, they approve of the failure of a cleverly organized climate policy. They incite the citizens without attempting to explain the procedure to them.

With it they do the business of the AfD, which not only fights against climate protection, but also against the whole of democracy.