Broad consensus: more ambitious climate policy needed from next German government

In poll of leading German environmental and economic institutions, Christian Flachsland and Sebastian Levi find wide agreement on climate policy measures.

According to a survey co-authored by Christian Flachsland, Professor of Sustainability and Director of the Centre for Sustainability, and Sebastian Levi, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre, the most important players in German environmental and economic policy demand a significantly more ambitious climate policy from the next German government. "The results indicate that more than 80 percent of the polled organisations from business, administration, civil society and academia want to see a more strategic planning process,” says Flachsland. “This includes that the Chancellery should take on a stronger coordinating role in cross-government climate policy.” The study was led by and co-authored with researchers Prof. Dr. Katrin Ingold and Dr. Lukas Fesenfeld from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern. Fesenfeld is also a Hertie School alumn.

In the representative study, the Swiss-German research team surveyed 47 federal ministries, non-governmental organisations, associations and other organisations that have a significant influence on German climate policy. Despite different political agendas of the institutions polled, the results reveal a broad consensus. For example, the institutions agree on tightening climate policy measures, higher CO2 prices, and institutional reforms of German climate governance.

The findings might have an impact on the ongoing government formation: "From the data collected, we can clearly see that the majority of institutions polled want the next federal German government to pursue an ecologically effective and socially just climate policy," Levi says. "SPD, Greens and FDP should keep this in mind during the coalition talks," the researcher adds. According to the study, the revenues from CO2 pricing could, for example, be used for a per capita refund for private households and to promote climate protection measures. The rest of the revenue could be made available to low-income earners and businesses to relieve their burden.

Find all results of the survey here.

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