DThe Greens would like to see more speed in climate protection in the transport sector and decided on a “starter package” with a list of measures on Thursday. It should help to meet the climate goals, according to a decision paper by the Greens parliamentary group board. The focus is on proposals to strengthen local public transport and a reform of “environmentally harmful subsidies”. In addition, the federal government should concentrate more on the construction of dilapidated bridges and cancel the new road construction that has already been planned.
Above all, the Greens want Federal Transport Ministers Volker Wissing (FDP) that has not yet succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector to such an extent that the statutory targets can be met. “The climate balance of the transport sector is catastrophic,” criticized Matthias Gastel, rapporteur for rail for the Green parliamentary group. “The Federal Transport Minister now has the task of finally tackling this with concrete measures.” However, some of the proposals also target the area of responsibility of Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner, also FDP.
“What doesn’t help: wanting to speed up all modes of transport with the watering can”
This applies, for example, to the commuter allowance, which the Greens believe makes neither social nor ecological sense, because those who travel long distances and have a high income benefit the most. The taxpayers can use part of their official channels to reduce their tax burden. This system must be reformed socially and ecologically. So far, however, there has been a lack of concrete drafts from the responsible federal departments, the Greens complain. “These are urgently requested to submit appropriate initiatives to Parliament.”
The company car subsidy, which costs billions, is also a thorn in the side of the Greens. You have a significant impact on the new car market. “It determines in a very decisive way which vehicles drive on our roads,” the paper says. Therefore, the purchase and use of cars with high fuel consumption should no longer be favored. The green want the tax treatment of company cars according to the CO2 – Stagger emissions, and there should also be new rules on how companies can deduct company cars and fossil fuels from taxes. Employers do not leave out the Greens in their proposals. Instead of company cars, they should offer their employees “fixed mobility budgets”. This means subsidies that employees can use to pay for other means of transport, such as public transport or car sharing offers.
The Green coalition partner believes that some things have to change in the planning of the transport infrastructure. To do this, the federal transport infrastructure plan that has already been approved, in which the construction projects up to 2030 are defined, must be changed. Planned new construction of motorways and federal trunk roads would have to be significantly reduced. “What doesn’t help: want to speed up all modes of transport with the watering can,” emphasized Gastel. “Therefore: renovate bridges and roads, renovate and expand rail.”
At the end of 2022, Wissing started an “infrastructure dialogue” to review the federal transport infrastructure plan, which, however, was met with criticism from the rail freight industry, among others: the first meeting at the beginning of December was more of a monologue, it said. The Greens are now also demanding that the current federal transport infrastructure plan must be revised so that it is compatible with the federal government’s climate goals. “Unfortunately, there are no proposals for concrete implementation here.”
In the area of public transport, the proposals also remain vague. The countries are expected to “financially more independently manage their original tasks”, i.e. put more money into buses and trains. In addition, they should dismantle “small-scale network task carrier structures”, according to the decision paper. So there is at least one thing in common: just like Wissing, the Greens are pushing for the complex system of transport associations to be reduced.