Merkel's cabinet delays debate over controversial climate package

Photo: EPA Climate activists with masks resembling German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (R) protest in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on 25 September. The activists consider as insufficient the measures adopted by the government to limit global warming.

The German cabinet will delay its discussion of a controversial climate protection package until next week, news wires reported, citing a government spokesman. The Federal government was expected to approve the detailed climate protection programme for 2030 on Wednesday.

The plan agreed after lengthy negotiations between Germany's coalition partners last month is set to cost some €54bn ($59bn) between now and 2023. Leading figures from German industry have criticized the package, while a recent survey revealed that majority of Germans believe the government measures are insufficient.

The delay came after the Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democratic Union, raised questions about the package, dpa has learned from sources close to the coalition. The decision to delay apparently took place after consultation with CSU leader Markus Soeder, who is the Bavarian governor and not a member of federal cabinet.

The cornerstones of the climate package have already been approved by a so-called "climate cabinet" of ministers, a federal government committee, and by the cabinet as a whole. Much of the funding will go to the budget of Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, a member of the CSU, whose ministry is responsible for the important issues of electromobility and railways, as well as to the budget of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, also of the CSU, who is responsible for the energy-efficient renovation of buildings.

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