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Targeted, Ecological and Social? Evaluation of energy policy relief measures

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine, renewed curfews in China, and the consequences of these events on global supply chains, the inflation rate has reached historic levels in reunified Germany since the beginning of the year. The German government has already adopted two comprehensive measures to cushion the impact of rising prices for energy, food and mobility. However, given the increasing uncertainty in the energy supply and continuing high inflation rates, these do not seem to be enough.

Social welfare associations, in particular, have criticized that the relief measures have so far not considered lower income groups and pensioners sufficiently. At the same time, climate experts fear that individual interventions such as the fuel rebate will create false incentives in the fight against climate change.

Against this background, DIW Econ, together with Prof. Dr Claudia Kemfert, on behalf of the Climate Alliance Germany, has evaluated the existing relief measures and provides an outlook on how ecological and distributional effects can be considered together in a new relief package. This is done based on an analysis of five measures in the areas of energy & heat, transport & mobility and food, which are currently being discussed politically and in the media in anticipation of a further relief package.

Education as an Enabler for Private Capital Accumulation

DIW Econ Economic Bulletin, No. 1/2022:

The pension system in Germany is based on the so-called three-pillar model, consisting of the statutory pension, work-based provision and private provision.

While the statutory pension is under intense pressure from demographic change, with the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age in the mid-2020s, only around 54% of employees subject to compulsory insurance in Germany benefit from the employment-based old-age provision. The private provision in the form of Riester contracts has also been taken out by only around a quarter of the working population.

Bavaria’s industrial labour market in transformation

By 2030, there will be profound changes in Bavaria’s industrial labour market due to the ongoing processes of decarbonisation and digitalisation. As a result, industrial companies face an inevitable transformation of their products and processes, which requires a change in the activities and skills of their employees.

The study ‘Bavaria’s industrial labour market in transformation – Measures to surmount decarbonisation and digitalisation in Bavaria until 2030’ commissioned by the BayernSPD parliamentary group focuses on the question of which additional state policy measures can support the Bavarian industry until 2030 to take advantage of the opportunities of the transformation and to master its challenges at the prevailing high level of employment.

Burden of rising inflation on low-income households

Inflation is having a significant impact on private households in Germany. Low-income households, in particular, are facing, in some cases, dramatic price increases for everyday consumer goods, which may threaten their very existence.

The packages of measures already adopted by the German government provide greater relief for lower-income households than for high-income households but are not sufficient to fully compensate for the burden of higher prices in the lowest income groups.

Against this background, Diakonie Deutschland e.V. proposes a crisis mechanism in the form of monthly payments of 100 euros per beneficiary:n for an initial period of 6 months. DIW Econ was commissioned by Diakonie Deutschland e.V. to study the effects of inflation and the effectiveness of its proposed crisis instrument.

Recommendation for the further development of the Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Program 2030

The amendment to the Berlin Climate Protection and Energy Turnaround Act (EWG Bln) sets binding climate targets for Berlin: A reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 70 per cent by 2030 and by at least 90 per cent by 2040 compared to the reference year 1990, and the achievement of climate neutrality by 2045 at the latest.

The Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Programme (BEK 2030) is the central instrument for achieving Berlin’s climate targets. According to the Berlin Climate Protection and Energy Turnaround Act requirements, the BEK is to be further developed regularly, and the draft is to be submitted to the Berlin House of Representatives no later than one year after the constitution of the parliament.