What is the CO2 tax?

The CO₂ tax is also known as the CO₂ price or CO₂ pricing and, like any other tax, is set individually by a state. In Sweden, the CO₂ tax has been in place since 1991 and currently stands at 114 euros per tonne of CO₂ emitted. In Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Slovenia, a CO₂ tax has also been standard for many years. In Germany, the CO₂ tax will be introduced from 2021 with an introductory price of 25 euros and will increase gradually. By taxing CO₂ emissions, the countries are pursuing the goal of making CO₂ emissions more expensive in order to achieve a reduction in CO₂ emissions.

On the 9th October 2019, the german federal cabinet adopted the climate protection programme 2030. The goal: By 2030, Germany wants to emit at least 55 percent fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than in 1990, and by 2050 emissions are to be reduced to a total of 80 to 95 percent. In order to achieve this goal, the federal government of Germany is relying as a central instrument on a CO₂ tax, which will be fixed from 2021 on for the areas of transport and buildings/heating. The CO₂ tax will then supplement the existing EU-wide emissions trading scheme for the energy sector and industry and is to be implemented via a national CO₂ emissions trading scheme.

The CO₂ tax will be introduced in Germany in 2021 and will initially be set at 25 euros per tonne of CO₂. It is to rise successively to 55 euros in 2025. Thereafter, i.e. from 2026, the German government plans to fix the CO₂ tax at a level of at least 55 and at most 65 euros per tonne of CO₂.
With the CO₂ tax, the federal government of Germany wants to make climate-damaging behaviour such as driving and heating more expensive, thus gradually making the consumption of fossil fuels less attractive. This is intended to have a steering effect towards energy-efficient vehicles and heating systems and to further promote the expansion of renewable energies. The CO₂ pricing for fuel emissions is to be implemented via a national CO₂ emissions trading scheme. In addition, the the federal government of Germany intends to reinvest the revenues generated in this way in further climate protection measures.

Quellen: Bundesregierung: Klimaschutzprogramm 2030/ CO2-Bepreisung/ Maßnahmenprogramm Klima, BMU: Klimaschuztplan 2050


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