Germany Bundestag approves amendment to climate protection act News
Germany Bundestag approves amendment to climate protection act

The Bundestag, Germany’s federal Parliament, passed on Friday the second amendment of the Federal Climate Protection Act. The amendment passed a day after the Federal Constitutional Court rejected a lawmaker’s objection to the amended bill. The amendments aim to reduce the pressure against individual sectors by removing some greenhouse gas emissions targets.

In the Bundestag on Friday, Germany’s coalition government agreed to pass the amendments. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party voted to approve the bill, while the opposing party Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), voted against. The FDP emphasized the need to change the market-based climate protection, while the Greens stated that the amended law would be tightened by maintaining existing targets.

On Thursday, the German Federal Constitutional Court refused the application submitted by a member of the CDU, Thomas Heillman, who argued that his rights as the member of the Bundestag were violated in the legislative process. He claimed there was insufficient time for lawmakers to find out about these amendments to the law. Consequently, the court declared the claim inadmissible and rejected an interim injunction.

Since September 2023, the Bundestag has discussed the reform of the amended legislation. Under the original act, it was mandatory for some sectors, such as transport or buildings, to comply with the requirements for greenhouse gas emissions, which failed to reach annual targets last year. However, under this new reform, whether these targets were achieved by each individual sector will no longer be checked, but rather, it will be assessed whether the overall goal to reduce Germany’s emissions by 65 percent by 2030 can be reached in the long term. If the amendments become law, the first examination would take place in 2026.

The amendments will next be brought to the Bundesrat before being passed as law.