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Central Horticultural Association:

German CO2-tax: "Tragedy for domestic horticulture"

The Central Horticultural Association (Zentralverband Gartenbau e. V. - ZVG) is appalled at the reports of a higher CO2 certificate trading entry price of 25 euros per ton instead of the previously planned 10 euros. "Without far-reaching compensation measures, numerous domestic horticultural companies will be in great distress", they say. 

From 2021 German glasshouse growers will be charged with a CO2-tax on fossil energy fuels. Renewable energy sources will be free of charge. The tax will be in the first year 10 € per t CO2 and goes up to 35 € per t in 2025.

"We are experiencing a tragedy here," ZVG President Jürgen Mertz emphasizes. Domestic horticulture is degenerating into a pawn sacrifice in the negotiations on the tax burden for the climate protection law between the federal government and the states.

Extensive measures 
Of course, the horticultural businesses must and will make their contribution to achieving the climate targets, Mertz emphasises. This requires extensive measures to support investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency measures. The compensation for the levy under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) mentioned in the Climate Protection Programme 2030 is far from sufficient for horticultural businesses. In addition, there are investment costs for firing systems with renewable energies as fuel.

Even investment promotion under the federal energy efficiency programme, with the current funding, will then only be a drop in the ocean. Even with an entry-level price of 10 euros per tonne of CO2, medium-sized companies will incur costs of around 15,000 to 20,000 euros. This would be a massive burden for the companies in view of the current market pressure and increasing requirements combined with necessary investments.

Entry price for certificate trading
According to media reports, representatives of the federal and state governments agreed in the mediation committee of the Bundesrat on a higher entry price for certificate trading with CO2. Instead of the 10 euros per tonne of CO2 agreed so far, a price of 25 euros will apply from 2021. It is planned to raise this price to 55 euros by 2025. Previously, a price of 35 euros was planned for 2025.

According to reports, the entire revenue from the higher CO2 price will be used to reduce the EEG levy. This would also clear the way for a reduction in value-added tax for the railways on 1 January 2020. The Bundesrat had appealed to the Mediation Committee regarding the tax laws of the federal government's climate package.

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