Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has defended the controversial legislative plans for more climate-friendly heating. On Deutschlandfunk, the Greens politician spoke of a major law that would take effect for decades and was a milestone in German climate policy.
It was right to have launched this difficult building energy law this spring. Of course, falling poll numbers didn't leave him cold, said Habeck. But if politics were based solely on polls, then a difficult decision would never be made. "We lost so many years," Habeck said in the interview published on Saturday. "They weren't even tackled the difficult questions because they were afraid of polls and electoral defeats and personal losses."
Habeck conceded that it had not been possible to make the meaning of the law and the social support clear and to reject false allegations with sufficient clarity. "Well, it's still called a ban on heating. What's that nonsense? Nobody wants to ban heating, on the contrary," he said. But the difficulty of the debate is also due to the substance. It is correct that there are legitimate social questions. All questions would have to be answered.
Heat pump prices expected to fall
With a view to the planned promotion of the heating changeover, Habeck said, "it's a lot of money that we're spending". But it's only for a limited time. Because there will be a significant drop in the price of heat pumps in the next few years. "That's why we're talking about a limited period of time where a little more money is spent, but that will then level off in the market."
According to the draft law passed by the Federal Cabinet, from 2024 every newly installed heating system should be operated with 65 percent renewable energy. This is intended to herald the departure from gas and oil heating systems. There is no immediate obligation to replace heating systems in existing buildings. If a device breaks down and can no longer be repaired, there are transitional periods. Boilers should only be able to run on fossil fuels by the end of 2044. The parliamentary deliberations are just beginning. The amendments to the law should be passed before the summer break.
Interview on Deutschlandfunk