The CO2 price on oil and gas has made heating and refueling with fossil energy more expensive since January 2021. According to a draft by the Federal Climate Ministry, the price will soon be expanded.

According to a draft by the Federal Climate Ministry, the national CO2 price should also apply to the incineration of waste and lignite from next year. The German press agency learned this from ministry circles.

Accordingly, the price, which has so far been levied on petrol, diesel, heating oil and natural gas, is to be extended to the two areas of waste and coal on January 1, 2023. This step had long been provided for in the corresponding law on national emissions trading and is now being carried out, it said. Negative effects for consumers, such as higher electricity prices or garbage fees, are not to be expected as a result.

The national CO2 price for the fossil fuels oil and gas has been in effect since January 1, 2021 and has made heating and refueling more expensive in Germany ever since. It should help to reduce climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions and make the switch to clean energies more attractive. It is currently 30 euros per tonne of CO2 emitted. From January 1, 2023, 35 euros per ton will apply.

Proposals still in departmental coordination

According to the plans, operators of waste incineration plants and lignite-fired power plants with an output of less than 20 megawatts will then also have to pay the price. Larger lignite plants are exempt because they are already subject to the European emissions trading system.

The ministry’s proposals are still being coordinated within the federal government. Countries and associations should soon be able to comment on the draft law. The project should then go to the cabinet.

At the beginning of May, the waste management industry had already warned against the introduction of a CO2 price in waste incineration. “If a CO2 price is levied on municipal waste, there is a risk of increased costs for disposal and thus increasing fees for consumers,” said the general manager of the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), Ingbert Liebing. According to the industry, a CO2 price on waste generated in private households and similar facilities would only cause additional costs without having the hoped-for climate protection effect.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that operators of waste incineration plants have so far benefited from high electricity prices without having to bear their own CO2 costs. The operators of lignite-fired power plants can only expect reduced profits as a result of the introduction of the CO2 price.