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Factbox - Germany's election and energy/climate policy

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By Reuters
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BERLIN – Tackling climate change while guaranteeing reliable and affordable energy for Europe’s biggest economy is one of the top issues in Germany’s federal election on Sept. 26.

All the mainstream parties agree emissions reduction targets are needed, but they are at odds on how to achieve them and how ambitious to be. Here are the main policies for the biggest parties and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

CONSERVATIVECDU/CSUBLOC

- Climate targets: Climate neutrality by 2045. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030.

- Renewables: accelerate power generated from wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermic sources, but no concrete targets. Cut red-tape for planning/permits for new plants.

- Hydrogen: Accept “blue hydrogen”, which is produced via natural gas, at least for a transitional period.

- Prices/tax: expand EU CO2 emissions trading to transport and heating as soon as possible. Abolish renewables surcharge which is added to consumers’ bills.

- Transport: support transition to emission-free cars but no phase out date for internal combustion engine. No diesel driving ban, no motorway speed limit. Improve high-speed rail. Abolish aviation tax for flights using alternative fuel

SOCIALDEMOCRATS

- Climate targets: Climate neutrality by 2045 latest. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030.

- Renewables: 100% renewable electricity by 2040. All public buildings and commercial roofs should have solar panels.

- Hydrogen: Make Germany leading market for hydrogen technology.

- Power prices/tax: abolish renewables surcharge by 2025. Against increasing burden on ordinary people from rises in CO2 price which has been added to petrol, gas, heating fuel since the start of the year.

- Transport: Cheaper, better rail transport to reduce short-haul flights. At least 15 million electric cars by 2030. Motorway speed limit of 130 km/h.

GREENS

- Climate targets: Climate neutrality possible within 20 years with a complete switch to renewable power by 2035. Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.

- Renewable energy: 100% renewable power by 2035. Some 1.5 million new solar roofs within four years. Bring forward coal exit to 2030. Expansion of onshore wind capacity to 5-6 gigawatts (GW) per year compared to 1.4 GW in 2020.

- Gas/Hydrogen: Stop Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Use hydrogen when electricity is not an option, for example in industry, shipping and air transport. Supports domestic hydrogen production and imported hydrogen but should only be produced from wind or solar power.

- Power prices/tax: Quickly increase CO2 prices, bringing forward the last stage planned for 2025 to 2023. Proceeds would go to reducing renewables surcharge.

- Transport: emission-free cars only allowed as new registrations from 2030. At least 15 million electric cars on road by 2030 as they replace internal combustion engine. Invest heavily in public transport, rail to reduce demand for short-haul flights. Motorway speed limit of 130 km/h.

FREEDEMOCRATS (FDP)

- Climate targets: Climate neutrality by 2050

- Renewable energy: Steer expansion of renewable energy via CO2 prices.

- Hydrogen: Supports use of hydrogen and production of “blue hydrogen”. Wants a European hydrogen union.

- Power prices/tax: abolish renewable surcharge, expand EU emissions trading system (ETS) to all sectors.

- Transport: Promote environmentally friendly engines and alternative fuels via emissions trading. No speed limits, no end-date for internal combustion engine. Abolish aviation tax. Rail privatisation.

ALTERNATIVEFORGERMANY (AFD)

- Disputes human activity as a cause of global warming. Wants to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change.

- Renewables: Only build wind turbines where no opposition from local residents. Abolish coal exit and nuclear phase-out.

- Transport: Abolish aviation tax, stop preference for electric vehicles.