German officials have unveiled a $60 billion climate policy package, one of several government and private-sector emissions reductions schemes that have been introduced ahead of next week’s UN climate summit in New York.
The German plan, unveiled on Sept. 20, the day after Amazon announced a lofty pledge to go carbon neutral by 2040, featured a bucket list of proposals across industry sectors, including subsidies for consumers buying electric cars and raising road tolls for trucks.
German environment minister Svenja Schulze praised the program as a “new beginning for Germany’s climate policy,” the Financial Times reported.
Often viewed as a leader in environmental policy, Germany has lost ground in recent years. The government has said it won’t meet its 2020 target to reduce emissions by 40 percent of 1990s levels.
The new agreement features a broad array of incentives intended to reinvigorate the green transportation sector. According to news reports, Germany will put seven to 10 million zero-emission electric cars onto the roads by 2030, along with a network of one million charging stations.
Starting in 2021, consumers buying electric cars will receive a subsidy worth several thousand euros each.
The passenger vehicle tax will also be modified to encourage green transportation modes.
Auto manufacturers are following a complementary path. According to a report from VDA, an auto-industry trade group, German manufacturers are already ramping up their investment in electric vehicles, aiming to accommodate emissions standards the European Union put in place last year.
BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen, among others, will spend about $45 billion on EV technology over the next three years, the report said.
Details regarding the truck toll proposals were unclear, but in August, Andreas Jung, a member of Parliament, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper that the government was considering a fee that would apply to trucks 3.5 tons and above on all roads in the country and that the additional funds would be invested in rail traffic.
Included in the new climate package package is a national emissions trading scheme for the transportation and construction sectors.