Why are some gas stations ridiculously overpriced

From 2021: the price of CO2 will rise - heating and refueling will become more expensive

Fuel, heating oil and natural gas will be a little more expensive from 2021. On Thursday, the Bundestag passed changes to a central law for more climate protection.

The CO2 price in traffic and buildings is increasing compared to the original plans of the black-red coalition. The aim is to make fossil fuels less attractive and to encourage a switch to more climate-friendly alternatives.

Emissions trading will now start in 2021 with a fixed CO2 price of 25 euros per ton. The black-red coalition actually wanted to start at ten euros. However, under pressure from the Greens, the mediation committee of the Bundesrat and Bundestag agreed on the increase at the end of 2019. This is now being implemented by law.

The coalition factions CDU / CSU and SPD as well as the Greens voted for an amendment to the Fuel Emissions Trading Act. Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter spoke of a great success of his party. A starting price of ten euros per ton would have been ridiculous. However, it takes significantly more ambition to meet climate targets. But more was not possible with the coalition. What exactly was decided:


National emissions trading in transport and buildings will start in 2021 with a fixed CO2 price of 25 euros per ton. Specifically, companies that put gasoline, diesel, heating oil and natural gas on the market have to buy pollution rights. Until 2025, the certificates will be issued gradually with a fixed price increasing to 55 euros. From 2026, the certificate price will then be determined through auctions, with a price corridor of EUR 55 to EUR 65 per tonne of CO2 being specified for 2026.

What does that mean in concrete terms? According to the Ministry of the Environment, a CO2 price of 25 euros per ton means that a liter of petrol increases by 7 cents and a liter of diesel by 7.9 cents. Heating oil is 7.9 cents more expensive per liter, natural gas by 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

Environmental associations criticize that this is too little to have a steering effect - that is, that citizens buy a more environmentally friendly car or a new heating system. On the other hand, the CSU politician Anja Weisgerber said that a starting price of 180 euros per ton demanded by Fridays for Future would be too massive.


In order to cushion the rising costs socially, there are billions in relief - in the electricity price as well as in the commuter flat rate for employees with longer journeys. With the higher CO2 price that has now been decided, the state is earning billions more - these additional revenues are to be used in full to lower the EEG surcharge to promote green electricity and, from 2024, to further increase the commuter flat-rate.

The goal is not to earn more money, said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD): "The goal is that the switch to climate-friendly alternatives is also the right choice for the wallet." In the case of the EEG surcharge, further billions in relief are also planned, namely through subsidies from the federal budget. The coalition agreed on this in its economic stimulus package in June.

It is still controversial how additional costs should be divided between tenants and landlords. "Here I see a need for action in rental apartments," said Schulze. "After all, it is the landlords who decide on a new heating system. That is why they should also bear their share of the CO2 price." There is a good proposal on the table. "I expect the Union to not only say yes to the CO2 price, but also to protect tenants."

The SPD-led Federal Ministries for the Environment, Justice and Finance had suggested that landlords should add a maximum of half of the additional costs that will arise in future for heating with oil or natural gas to the rent.


Central business associations warned of burdens on companies that were often in a difficult situation because of the Corona crisis. The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded compensation for companies. Otherwise competition will force many companies to relocate their production to locations with lower CO2 costs.

A motion for a resolution on the law states that the companies affected must be adequately protected against risks. Companies need time and appropriate funding to convert their production processes to climate-neutral technologies. The coalition factions called on the government to submit a regulation - by the end of the year.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201008-99-871342 / 3 (dpa)