VDA President Müller: "Decisions of the coalition committee contain important and correct course setting - concrete implementation now crucial"
Focus on long-term strategic orientation in terms of the climate - fast planning and approval procedures strengthen competitiveness - announcements must now be implemented with determination - necessary financing basis still completely unclear
"The decisions of the coalition committee contain some important and correct decisions that are absolutely necessary for a successful transformation," explains VDA President Hildegard Müller with a view to the latest decisions of the traffic light coalition.
"All in all, the traffic light coalition has decided on ambitious points. They have the potential to accelerate the transformation and thus the pace of climate protection and at the same time advance long-needed infrastructure projects. It is now crucial to move from announcement mode to implementation mode with a 'New German Speed'.
In fact, some of the decisions that have now been made were already included in the traffic light coalition agreement, but haven’t been implemented yet. This is of course also due to the still unresolved financing issues – this will ultimately be crucial for whether the projects can be implemented with commitment. Since the cornerstones for the 2024 federal budget also haven’t been agreed upon yet, there is still a major task ahead of the coalition," Müller continued.
Long-term strategic course in terms of climate protection
"Faster planning and approval procedures, especially in the area of infrastructure, are absolutely necessary so that our infrastructure can be expanded, modernized and digitized. This is the prerequisite for our location to remain internationally competitive and for us to create the basis for climate-neutral mobility," says Müller.
"The further development of the climate protection law already announced in the coalition agreement – i.e. the reorientation towards a long-term, cross-sectoral climate protection program – rightly shifts the focus to more prescient strategies. This approach should rightly be supported by emissions trading as the future leading instrument of national and European climate policy. Strengthening the market-based approach on the way to climate neutrality is key to remaining attractive as an investment, innovation and production location," emphasizes Müller.
Infrastructure and energy supply central to competitiveness
In addition to these fundamental elements, the coalition committee has also initiated some concrete decisions: "The renewed determination to advance the charging and hydrogen infrastructure in Germany as quickly as possible is particularly positive. E-mobility remains the central technology for achieving the climate goals in transport - people's trust in being able to charge anywhere and anytime is a basic requirement for a successful ramp-up. The legal obligation now envisaged for the forward-looking expansion of the power grid is elementary in order to implement this basic requirement successfully and quickly. Combining the expansion of motorways with the mandatory construction of solar and wind power plants can help to accelerate the supply of renewable energies and the general security of energy supply – which is a basis for the transformation. Nevertheless, it remains necessary to conclude energy partnerships with other countries in order to have sufficient and affordable CO2-neutral energy available," explains Müller.
In order to promote the drive change in heavy goods traffic, the coalition is sensibly opting for the introduction of a CO2-based truck toll: "That is basically correct. However, the incentive to switch will be effective only if the appropriate infrastructure for charging and H2 fueling is created quickly and nationwide. The measures described here must therefore be implemented just as resolutely. The planned investments for the railways are certainly necessary, especially in view of the current logistics situation and the declining capacities on the rails. Here, too, strategic and coordinated planning is crucial. However, based on the information available so far, it is not possible to assess the specific structure of the truck toll. It must be checked whether there is sufficient funding without burdening consumers too much," says Müller.
Technology-independent approach creates additional options
The technology-independent approach also helps to achieve the ambitious CO2 reduction goals. "Every option that can contribute to climate-neutral mobility must be used. Equal treatment for electric vehicles and vehicles that run on climate-neutral fuels is therefore a step in the right direction. Enabling the extensive tax exemption of climate-friendly fuels should be pursued and enforced as announced," explains Müller.