Robert Habeck’s sustainable plans for former World Export Champion – WELT

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BThe Confederation of German Industries was clearly surprised by the economy minister’s enthusiasm in the middle of the political summer recess. On July 25, the Ministry of Robert Habeck (Greens) Draft Climate Policy Sector Guidelines for Export Credit Guarantees.

But even the day after publication, no one at BDI could analyze the paper. The document has a complex technical title. However, it would have far-reaching consequences for the German export economy. The Federal Wholesale, Foreign Trade, and Services Association (BGA), whose member firms rely exclusively on export business, couldn’t provide an answer either.

What Haebeck’s sons have in mind is to export Germany’s climate protection policy abroad. The draft provides for new rules by which the German state decides which transactions with other countries to support and which not.

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Von der Leyen’s “Green Deal”.

It is about the so-called Hermes guarantees, with which companies can insure economic and political risks in export transactions. So far, the German state has guaranteed up to 95 percent of the amount if there are problems.

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It is a type of insurance with a low discount of only five percent for companies. However, these policies will not be introduced in the future for all export transactions in certain sectors.

Instead, the traffic light government wants to use the new rules to ensure that companies that meet the federal government’s ideas for climate protection are fully funded. The sectors of energy, minerals, and chemical industries were affected, as well as transport, including civil aviation and shipping.

New HAPC rules for exports

In the future, there will be three categories of potential foreign business in these sectors: Projects that the Hapic Ministry believes are particularly deserving of support fall into the green category. In the future, better conditions will apply to them than before.

Instead of a maximum of 95%, the German state assumes 98% of the risk, and the tolerance percentage decreases. And working in this category has another advantage for the company: Until now, at least half of the added value of the exported product must take place in Germany, so that Germany as a location and employees in this country also benefit from the guarantees. In the future, projects in the green category can also be insured where the majority of value added, up to 70 percent, takes place abroad.

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All products that do not have a particularly positive or negative impact on climate protection end up in the middle category, the white category. Nothing should change for them compared to the previous rules.

In the future, products that have been designated red by the federal government and thus a climate-damaging category will be excluded from export safeguards. Accordingly, there is no longer a green category in the field of fossil fuels. Coal and oil projects that serve to “decommission or convert fossil energy infrastructure to non-fossil energy infrastructure use” are only eligible for funding under legacy conditions, and are therefore in the white category.

Emergency power generators, especially for humanitarian emergencies, are still assigned to the white category. All other coal and oil projects must not receive government guarantees in the future.

Strict export rules for natural gas

In the case of natural gas, the list of exceptions that still fall into the white category is somewhat longer. But the standards are strict here, too. For example, capacity may not be increased when natural gas is extracted, and new deposits may only be exploited if it serves national security or geostrategic interests in security of supply – for example because there is a risk of choking, as happened last winter.

In addition, after new rains, these projects must comply with the goal of a maximum potential for climate warming of 1.5 degrees and avoid so-called lock-in effects, i.e. one does not depend permanently on the use of natural gas. “The test is evidence-based,” the draft says.

The list of exceptions is long and detailed. In developing countries, for example, projects can be funded even if natural gas is used for cooking “when renewable alternatives are not available”. In the transport sector, for example, only “hybrid electric”, “battery electric” and “hydrogen powered” aircraft fall into the green category, the export of which should be particularly encouraged.

But such models are still at best in development, and only small aircraft can be powered by electricity. Accordingly, hardly any company benefits from such support. Only those aircraft that can run on at least 50 percent “sustainable aviation fuel” (SAV) end up in the white category; From 2030 they’ll even have to fly 100 percent on that fuel. All other aircraft fall into the red category, and their future exports cannot be insured.

sustainable steel production

when steel industry From 2030, only projects in the white category that are powered “with sustainable hydrogen” will be funded. In order to enter the green category, you must meet the “Guideline values ​​for emissions and/or scrap content of the EU classification”. All steel producing plants that are still coal-fired are in the red category and can therefore no longer be hedged.

In aluminum production, it even depends on how electricity is generated for production. If more than 500 grams of carbon dioxide is generated per kilowatt-hour, the project will automatically be classified in the red category and will no longer be funded. To produce chemicals such as ammonia, methanol, and others, there are now specific criteria that future projects must meet in order to be considered climate-friendly and thus eligible for funding.

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Future rules could also have tangible consequences for projects that have already been planned or at least announced. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), for example, had it Visit to Senegal She announced that Germany wanted to take part in the development of a new gas field in the African country – and also to solve its supply problems.

After the Habeck plans were presented, circles in the federal government reported that the state was not financially involved in the development and use of Senegal’s natural gas fields. So far, there have been no concrete applications from industry to fund a similar project. If that changes, this project must also comply with the new rules.

After all, the government must be in agreement with this project of the Habeck Ministry. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, both Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and the Chancellery approved the plans.

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