Germany’s environment minister announced a slew of new regulations aimed at cutting the country’s carbon dioxide emissions which, if passed by lawmakers, could bring about an “ecological or climate dictatorship.”
Minister Barbara Hendricks sent a “catalogue of measures” to German lawmakers she hopes will be passed this summer. Hendricks is using the momentum of the United Nations Paris agreement to propose new rules to “deindustrialize” Germany’s economy by 2050, according to a letter sent by business groups obtained by the daily newspaper Die Welt.
The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Federation of German Industry wrote the global warming regulations would have “catastrophic economic consequences” if passed into law. The heating industry warned the laws would create an “ecological or climate dictatorship.”
New government regulations would mean “higher rental prices for apartments, higher taxes, mandatory renovations by building owners, speed limits and massive cost hikes for industrial enterprises,” Die Welt’s business editor Daniel Wetzel wrote of the letter from businesses.
Businesses may not be exaggerating. Under Hendrick’s proposal, owners of buildings that don’t meet government energy efficiency mandates would be “punished by higher property taxes.” Homeowners would also be forced to install green energy heating systems in their homes.
Hendrick’s plan would also impose universal speed limits of 120 kilometers per hour, or 75 miles per hour, and includes a plan on how to completely phase out coal power by 2040 — coal still provides 45 percent of Germany’s electricity.
Germany has for years been trying to cut its carbon dioxide emissions through a scheme of mandates and taxes to get rid of coal use and promote the use of wind and solar energy. The plan, called Energiewende, has resulted in skyrocketing energy prices due to taxes being slapped on people’s electricity bills.
German households have seen electricity prices more than double in the last decade “increasing from €0.14/kilowatt hour (kWh) ($0.18) in 2000 to more than €0.29/kWh ($0.38) in 2013,” according to a report by the Switzerland-based FAA Financial Advisory AG. This is mostly from green taxes attached to energy bills to subsidize green energy production.
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