Now the Union wants to send 101 questions to Habeck

In a current hour, Parliament discusses the federal government’s heating plans. The Union sees the traffic light “on the way to incapacity to govern”.

Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) in the current session of the Bundestag.

Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) in the current session of the Bundestag.Kay Nietfeld/dpa

The Union faction has called on the federal government to stop the controversial building energy law. “If you withdraw the bill, go back to go,” said parliamentary group leader Jens Spahn (CDU) in the Bundestag. Spahn called for a draft that is open to technology, contains sufficient subsidies and is not fixated on the heat pump.

The parliamentary group of the CDU and CSU had requested a topical hour in the Bundestag on the subject. The title: “Stop the federal government’s heating plans – restart the heat transition in a way that is open to technology and socially acceptable.”

Spahn announced that he would submit 101 questions about the Building Energy Act as a small inquiry to Robert Habeck’s (Greens) Ministry of Climate Protection and Economic Affairs. The FDP had previously announced this, but the list of questions has apparently not yet arrived at the ministry.

The CDU MP referred to the public conflicts between the SPD, Greens and FDP in the discussion about the so-called heating law, but also to other disputes in the governing coalition – for example in relation to the cornerstones of the federal budget and a national security strategy. Spahn spoke of a “location risk” for Germany. The CDU MP said about the traffic light coalition that it was “on the way to becoming incapable of government”.

Spahn asked whether the government still had the confidence of a parliamentary majority. He accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of a lack of political leadership with regard to the renewed dispute between the FDP and the Greens. According to the CDU politician, the chancellor only limits himself to “perseverance phrases”.

SPD complains about “bad, populist campaign”

SPD parliamentary group leader Matthias Miersch spoke of a “spectacle” and a “foul game” by the Union. “Who secured the energy supply last year,” asked Miersch, referring to what he believed to be the successful crisis policy of the traffic light government.

The Union, in turn, does not present any concrete proposals, said the SPD MP. She runs a “bad, populist campaign” and plays with people’s fears. Miersch announced that Parliament would discuss the draft law in Parliament and that any proposal, including from the Union, would be welcome. “We will talk about subsidies, we will talk about the question of technologies, we will deal with the question of transition periods,” said Miersch.

The Greens group also responded to the allegations by the CDU and CSU. “We want people, especially those with low incomes, to have security and also get support,” said parliamentary group leader Andreas Audretsch. The Union, on the other hand, has not yet presented its own concept.

But the Greens did not skimp on criticism of the coalition partner FDP – after all, the Liberals are calling for a complete revision of the draft law. “The debates of the past few days and weeks have been tough,” said Audretsch. However, according to the parliamentary group leader, an agreement in politics should also be worth something. Audretsch pointed out that the Building Energy Act had been agreed in the coalition agreement and had been confirmed in the coalition committee.

According to Audretsch, the cabinet decided at the end of March that the federal government should initiate the law in April so that it could be passed by parliament before the summer break. The ministers of the FDP were also involved in all these decisions. Audretsch called on the Liberals to end their “blockade”. “The law must be discussed.”

Heating law: FDP demands complete revision

FDP parliamentary group leader Lukas Köhler, on the other hand, emphasized that a good law is more important than a quick law. “Of course we have to ensure that it is a law that takes people with it.” Köhler also said that the Bundestag is the place to discuss changes to the draft.

Meanwhile, AfD MP Marc Bernhard called for the plans to be completely abandoned. The heat transition is not feasible, he said. The leader of the left faction, Amira Mohamed Ali, criticized “half-baked funding plans” and warned of significant costs. The law should not be implemented at the expense of the population and the cash-strapped municipalities. The draft must be withdrawn and a realistic, socially balanced plan presented.

The leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP agreed on March 28 that the law on replacing old oil and gas heating systems should be passed in the Bundestag by the summer break. The FDP is now demanding a complete revision of the plans for the gradual replacement of the heating system, which is why there will be no first reading this week. It would have been the prelude to the work of the Bundestag committees, which were to adjust the plans in several respects.

According to the draft adopted by the Federal Cabinet, from 2024 onwards every newly installed heating system should be operated with 65 percent green energy. This should apply to all owners up to the age of 80. Existing oil and gas heating systems can continue to be operated and broken ones can be repaired.

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the switch should be socially cushioned – the details are controversial. The law is considered an important component of the plan to make Germany climate-neutral by 2045. (with dpa)

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