The SPD and the Greens expect an early agreement on the heating law

Status: 05/31/2023 11:00 a.m

The search for a compromise in the dispute over the heating law seems to be progressing: Although the talks in the evening did not bring a breakthrough, those involved were able to agree on a law on municipal heating planning.

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert expects an early agreement in the traffic light coalition after the talks between specialist politicians on the controversial heating law last night. “We are now really approaching the home stretch,” said Kühnert on Tuesday evening on the “RTL direct” program. After the talks, he had “the clear impression that everyone wants a compromise and that we should conclude it before the parliamentary summer break.” The parliamentary group leader of the Greens, Katharina Dröge, also expressed her confidence.

It was a constructive, professional discussion that hopefully will help to clarify questions. A spokeswoman for Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) did not want to say much more than this about the evening exchange with the specialist politicians of the traffic light coalition.

Economics Minister Habeck is meeting today with representatives of the three traffic light parties to improve the heating law.

The law is to be passed by the Bundestag before the summer break

The focus was on 77 questions that the FDP had asked in connection with the heating law. These would also be answered in writing, according to Habeck’s spokeswoman. The Greens and SPD are pushing to find a compromise in the heating dispute this week in order to get the corresponding law through the Bundestag before the summer break.

Kühnert appealed to the Liberals to clear the way for deliberations in the Bundestag. The FDP should “give the green light now that we can hold the first consultation in the next week of meetings – that’s in two weeks”.

Habeck himself had previously indicated a willingness to compromise; the obligation to operate new heating systems with at least 65 percent green energy can initially only apply to new buildings, not to new heating systems in existing apartments.

Economics Minister Habeck has shown himself ready to make improvements to the planned heating law.

The FDP also gave a signal of relaxation in the evening: the FDP-led ministries gave up their resistance to the law on municipal heating planning – it stipulates that states and municipalities must submit concrete plans on how they want to convert their heating infrastructure to be climate-neutral . According to the Ministry of Construction, the law can now be sent to the federal states and associations for a hearing.

Meanwhile, it was said today from circles in the Ministry of Finance that although they had agreed to send the draft to the federal states and associations for advice, “an approval of the content is expressly not associated with this step.” In the ministry of FDP leader Christian Lindner, there are still technical concerns.

However, opinions from experts, among others, should be taken into account at an early stage in order to make the law practical and less bureaucratic, it said. The Heat Planning Act obliges the federal states and local authorities: In the coming years, they should present concrete plans on how they want to convert their heating infrastructure to be climate-neutral. For large cities, these heat plans should be ready by the end of 2026, smaller cities should have two years longer.

Czaja accuses Scholz of a lack of leadership

Dröge said on Deutschlandfunk in the morning that the meeting between Habeck and the specialist politicians had shown that compromises were possible. She is optimistic that she will now quickly “get into a consulting mode”. The Greens group leader emphasized that the citizens rightly expected clarity on the heating issue.

CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja accused the SPD and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of a lack of leadership in the coalition dispute over the heating law. “The SPD does not lead at all,” he said together in the morning morning magazine from ARD and ZDF. There are well over 70 laws that have been shelved for lack of agreement. Scholz “let all these disputes run”. Czaja rejected allegations that the CDU had overslept the heat transition in its 16 years in government.

With information from Hans-Joachim Vieweger, ARD capital studio.

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