The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is examining the payment of a climate premium to citizens with low incomes. This is reported by the magazine "Spiegel", citing an internal study by the authority. Accordingly, proceeds from trading in CO2 certificates could be paid back to low-income households.
The aim is to relieve those affected in view of the increasing CO2 costs for heat and transport, it said. The government decided in the summer not to raise the price for CO2 emissions in these areas until 2024 and not as early as 2023, as originally planned. Nevertheless, the prices for CO2 are likely to continue to rise, and that could "lead to social hardship," quotes the "Spiegel" from the study.
This affects, for example, long-distance commuters who drive to work in a combustion car due to a lack of alternatives, or tenants in poorly insulated apartments with oil or gas heating. The UBA, on the other hand, rejects further "cheaping of fossil fuels through tax cuts and subsidies". This is "not a sensible strategy" because it leads to more emissions or higher CO2 prices, it said.
It makes more sense to protect vulnerable groups with targeted funding programs and to introduce a climate premium. This relieves low-income households, but instead burdens those with high incomes, it said. In this way, the "social acceptance of ambitious CO2 pricing" should be permanently strengthened.