CDU and CSU no longer want to rule out CO2 storage in Germany

Friedrich Merz

The CDU leader calls for a “real” CO2 circular economy.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin the CDU is in favor of storing carbon dioxide underground and processing it in industry. The party wants to achieve the German climate targets by 2045. In industry, “residual emissions” would still occur after 2045, according to a motion by the Union faction in the Bundestag, which is available to the Handelsblatt.

Germany wants to operate largely climate-neutral by 2045. Specifically, the union faction a “strategy process” that clarifies how and where CO2 could be captured, transported and stored in the future – abroad and “prospectively also in domestic deposits”. So far, the so-called “Carbon Capture and Storage” (CCS) has hardly been possible in Germany, because the countries can ban underground CO2 storage facilities on their territory.

Party deputy Andreas Jung, climate expert for the parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the Handelsblatt: “We are demanding an overall concept: the export ban must be lifted, companies need a reliable framework, and a network of CO2 pipelines for transport must be created.”

A significant part of industrial emissions cannot be avoided, only separated, Jung justified the application. Accordingly, the Union calls on the government to regulate the “requirements for storage sites suitable for mining law, their construction, operation and monitoring” in the carbon dioxide storage law. The technical processes with which CO2 is separated and then either stored or reused are “absolutely necessary”.

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The Federal Government is currently still rejecting domestic deposits, as was the case with previous Union-led governments. Instead, it is trying to conclude storage agreements in Norway, a pioneering CCS country. The Union supports this – and demands in accordance with scientists and international environmental organizationsDeposits in Germany cannot be ruled out.

Merz explicitly demands “a real CO2 circular economy”

The application of the Union faction is the first concrete result after the board meeting of the CDU at the weekend. In Weimar, the party had passed a paper on economic, energy and climate policy. In it, the Union emphasizes that avoiding carbon dioxide is not enough to achieve the climate goals. “For climate neutrality, emissions must be avoided, but also separated, stored and used,” it says.


The CDU is about “a real CO2 circular economy”. As it was said, have party leader Friedrich Merz personally insisted on the formulation.

However, a return to nuclear energy is controversial in the party. As participants reported, there was a debate at the retreat as to whether the party is in favor of building new nuclear power plants or whether they at least want to research new technologies.

Proponents argue that the country’s electricity needs will increase significantly with electric cars or hydrogen production for industry. The speakers Clemens Fuest, head of the Ifo Institute, and the Bremen marine biologist Antje Boetius pointed this out and emphasized the importance of nuclear energy in order to achieve the climate goals.

Nuclear power plants “by at least the end of 2024”

“Coal should not be a serious alternative for someone who feels committed to climate protection goals,” says Hamburg state chairman Christoph Ploß. “When we weigh up the options, we can’t ignore nuclear energy.” Others, on the other hand, rely on renewable energies and hydrogen as a storage medium.

>> Read also: New group of experts to promote nuclear fusion in Germany

According to the Weimar Declaration, the CDU wants to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. In addition, however, it is necessary to connect “all available energy sources to the grid”.

This includes letting the nuclear power plants continue to run “until at least the end of 2024” instead of until spring. In addition, nuclear fusion should be “researched more intensively” and the “development of next-generation nuclear energy” continued.

The economic policy spokeswoman for the Union faction, Julia Kloeckner, criticized the traffic light government for burning more coal instead of leaving the nuclear power plants on the grid longer. “The domestic industry should then compensate for this unnecessary increase in CO2 emissions with cuts. This is an attack on our own economy and ultimately on the balance of our welfare state,” she told the Handelsblatt. More climate protection is only possible together with the economy.

More: Industry and climate protectors are jointly promoting rapid entry into CO2 storage.

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