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Germany to boost funding for green infrastructure in 2024 – DW – 08/10/2023

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The German government approved on Wednesday the allocation of €57 billion ($63 billion) in investments to tackle climate change, as Berlin pursues the goal of reaching greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045.

The money will go into the Climate and Transformation Fund, which was created in 2010 and back then, it only had a contribution of just some hundreds of millions of euros.

Germany’s Finance Ministry said the approved figure for 2024 represented an increase of nearly €22 billion, or 60.2%, from the 2023 target.

“We are creating the basis for decarbonization and digitalization which will create opportunities for the future,” Finance Minister Christian Lindner said about the plan.

Germany’s green fund is not part of the government’s regular budget and as such, it is not subject to debt limit rules. 

It is financed by European and national emissions trading and carbon taxes on heating oil, natural gas, gasoline or diesel, which are expected to rise next year in order to keep the fund’s €57 billion target.

A boost for green construction

A bulk of the sum in 2024 will go to Germany’s construction sector, with some €18.9 billion in subsidies for building renovations and new buildings in 2024, the ministry said in a statement.

Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) said that the financial boost could provide “important impetus for the construction industry” to make buildings greener. 

Subsidies for renewable energy will also get a boost, with some €12.6 billion allocated.

Berlin is hoping to shore up the hydrogen industry, with €18.6 billion, as part of its plan to transition to renewables.

In terms of transportation, the fund will provide some €12.5 billion to Germany’s rail network between 2024 and 2027. 

Likewise, on electric automobiles Germany will allocate €4.7 billion for the country’s e-mobility charging infrastructure.

Reducing reliance on China

Germany’s boost in green funding for next year comes as countries like the US have increased subsidies that threaten to lure European manufacturers and as China maintains its position as exporter of critical parts in green infrastructure.

To reduce its reliance on Chinese imports, Germany is investing €4.1 billion form the green fund in subisidies for local production capacity for raw materials and transformation technology such as solar power components.

Some €4 billion in subsidies will also go to support semi-conductors production next year as part of a €20 billion allocated for the industry, including some €5 billion just for Taiwan’s TSMC to build a factory in Saxony.

Germany’s Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, will take a look at the government’s green fund plan in September, with a final vote of approval expected some time in December.

While you’re here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.

jcg/lo (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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