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Global Economy

Alliance calls for start of climate bonus

On the one hand, we need more climate protection. On the other hand, prices must not explode and people must not be financially overwhelmed. A difficult undertaking, as Ulrich Schneider from the Paritätisches Gesamtverband knows.

"Any offensive, progressive and really problem-solving climate policy will fail miserably if we don't take people with us," says Schneider. "You will then no longer get majorities." That is why climate policy, which is necessary and consistent, is "only eco-social".

Broad alliance wants rapid introduction

A broad alliance of around 140 climate, environmental, social organizations, trade unions and churches agrees on this – and puts pressure on them. The traffic light government must quickly launch the climate money promised in the coalition agreement.

Antje von Broock from the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) demands that this bonus should be financed through the income from CO2 pricing.

Implement without much bureaucracy

"There is currently nothing that speaks against the introduction of this climate bonus," says von Broock. "It is socio-ecologically just. It is a fair and comparatively simple means."

A study by the University of Speyer commissioned by the associations and organizations shows for the first time how the climate money could be implemented without much bureaucracy.

Making climate-damaging products more expensive

Accordingly, everyone should receive the same amount, paid monthly, for example in the course of child benefit or pension benefits. Calculated over a whole year, the savings would be 130 euros per person.

According to the initiators, it is a model that is socially just and fair. Because the rising CO2 prices make climate-damaging products and services more expensive, creating incentives for climate-friendly offers such as public transport.

Low-income people benefit

Above all, people with low incomes would benefit from climate money, according to Schneider from the Paritätischer Gesamtverband. Those in the lowest income tenth would have the greatest "profit" from the eco-bonus.

"They get more in than they pay for in terms of CO2," says Schneider. The background is that – statistically speaking – poorer people use less CO2-intensive offers such as air travel and are therefore less burdened by rising CO2 prices.

Higher CO2 pricing

But the social, climate and environmental organizations go one step further: in addition to climate money, they are also calling for the CO2 price to be increased more. That brings more income and more premium for the citizens – but above all more climate protection.

"We should actually start with a CO2 price of 50 euros per tonne," said von Broock. "As the BUND, we propose an increase of 15 euros per year."

Previous measures insufficient

According to von Broock, current CO2 prices offer too little incentive to encourage consumers to shop climate-friendly.

In any case, the previous financial compensation measures of the federal government are not enough for the alliance. The recently approved heating subsidy or the planned abolition of the EEG surcharge are far from sufficient.

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