Beconomy minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has described the heavy workload in his ministry in dramatic terms. He said on Thursday at a congress of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Berlin: "People, at some point they have to sleep and eat." And he continued: "It's not shit I'm telling now: people will Sick. They have burnout, they get tinnitus. They can't take it anymore.” It's always the same people who make the laws, because that's the way the house is set up. The tourism department cannot design the electricity market.
Habeck reported that 20 laws and 28 ordinances had been passed in his ministry in the past nine months. "I'd have to count how many laws the Ministry of Economic Affairs made in the last legislature." He would guess there were fewer.
Habeck also criticized an "outgrowth" in EU state aid law. You have “buried yourself” in lots of pitfalls. That Ministry of Economy is primarily concerned with the consequences of the energy crisis triggered by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Above all, there is criticism of Habeck because of the gas levy.
Habeck warns of major losses
At the same time, Habeck said he expected major losses for the German economy in the current energy crisis. Because of the purchase of energy from sources other than the previous ones, the German economy will lose almost 60 billion euros this year. In the coming year, there could be a loss of almost 100 billion euros, mainly due to the lack of Russian energy. According to Habeck, “calculated over the years”, this would correspond to two percent of gross domestic product.
Habeck spoke of large sums of money that would flow out "because we have to buy more energy". This money is missing everywhere. “In the various sectors, in substance, in the German economy. That is the macroeconomic situation, ”said Habeck. "The crisis was triggered by the loss of large amounts of energy that were actually planned as safe." This includes not only the supply of gas from Russia but also nuclear power from France. About two-thirds of France's nuclear reactors are down, Habeck said. Currently, just 28 of 56 French nuclear power plants are connected to the grid.
Praise for the BDI in terms of climate policy
According to Habeck, Germany is in its last stress test for the power supply In Germany, it is assumed that 50 gigawatts of power could be generated again by the French nuclear power plants by Christmas. The assumption was based on communication with the relevant authorities in the neighboring country. However, a recent stress test in France resulted in a realistic scenario of only 45 gigawatts, said Habeck. These are probably also the “best case scenarios”.
The use of alternative energies is driving up prices. In times like this, it is important to maintain German industry's ability to invest, said Habeck. Investing in the future must not flag. "Masses of renewable energies are needed," said Habeck. "We need entrepreneurial models for future climate protection."
The Greens politician praised the BDI's approach of committing to Germany's climate goals despite the energy crisis. "What a powerful statement at this time!" he said. That encourages and gives orientation, said Habeck. BDI President Siegfried Russwurm had previously confirmed that German companies want to stick to the climate targets for 2030 and 2045 despite the energy crisis. The BDI boss warned that the pause button should not be pressed in climate policy. "Even if the energy crisis is so serious that in the coming weeks nothing will be less important than ensuring the survival of industry in Germany and Europe: climate protection must remain a high priority," Russwurm affirmed.
However, Russwurm warned that there should be no “business as usual” in energy and climate policy. The economy and energy supply must become crisis-proof and more resilient.
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke also spoke at the BDI Congress about necessary transformation processes in German industry. She called on companies to take a leading role in the transition to a resource-efficient circular economy. The federal government will set the necessary course for this, promised the Greens politician.