Berlin, 25 April 2015 – A large majority of Germany's citizens support Chancellor Merkel and Economics Minister Gabriel in their plans for strengthening climate policy. Seventy percent are of the opinion that the German government should implement additional measures to ensure a 40% reduction in emissions by the year 2020 – a current target of German energy policy. This is the finding of a new survey conducted by TNS Emnid on behalf of the association Campact and WWF Germany.
Seventy-three percent of the more than 1000 German citizens who participated in the survey support the so-called “climate levy,” a proposed measure that would tax the oldest and dirtiest brown-coal-fired power plants. Majority support for the government's plans is even seen in impacted regions such as the Rheinland (69% support) and Brandenburg (55% support). Support was visible across party affiliations, with 75% of all participants in favor of the policy measure. The survey also makes clear that young people in particular favor a sustainable and forward-looking climate and energy policy.
"A clear majority wants to see a reduction in the use of brown coal for electricity production. This sends a clear signal to the German government: Mr. Gabriel, Mrs. Merkel, take action now. Ensure Germany fulfills its climate protection goals!" says Chris Methmann, a member of the association Campact.
Germany can only achieve its climate protection targets when significant emissions cuts are implemented in the electricity sector. The electricity sector is responsible for approx. 40% of German greenhouse gas emissions, half of which are attributable to brown-coal-fired power plants.
As the renewable energy revolution will create on the whole considerably more jobs than the measure to reduce the use of brown coal will destroy, 71% of Germans consider the policy measure to be justified, according to the TNS Emnid survey. Ninety percent of electricity generation would receive an explicit exemption from the proposed "climate levy." Accordingly, the policy measure represents an extremely modest intervention into the electricity sector.
"The support of the populace for the planned measure is overwhelming. In the run up to the G-7 meeting this summer and the UN Climate Conference in the fall, it is of key importance not to fall victim to the fear mongering that a few energy companies are engaged in," says Regine Günther, WWF Director for Climate and Energy.
Note regarding the survey:
Unless otherwise indicated, all data were provided by TNS Emnid. 1002 adults took part in the survey, which took place between 18 and 20 April 2015. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population (age 14+).
Sylvia Ratzlaff, Press Office, WWF Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 030 311 777 467
Jörg Haas, Spokesperson, Campact e.V., email@example.com, Tel. 0152 - 22888799