Germany’s Environment Minister Svenja Schulze on Wednesday October 9th announced the cabinet’s approval of drastic climate protection measures that include establishing a mechanism to monitor compliance with greenhouse gas emission limits, Reuters reported.
The cabinet’s approval keeps on track plans by Chancellor Angela Merkel to pass the landmark package this year.
"Finally there are binding rules for climate protection - and that's a good thing. I have fought for this for a long time and I am happy that it was approved today," Schulze wrote on Twitter.
The mechanism established by the approved measures will enable ministers to monitor the emission limits set for individual sectors and make sure they abide by these limits.
Germany’s 54-billion-euro plan aims at cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 55% of the 1990 level. The plan costs €54 billion.
These measures, however, were earlier denounced by environmentalists and scientists as unambitious.
Climate activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocked major roads across European cities, including Berlin, on Monday October 7th, part of a wide range of demonstrations calling for immediate action to save the Earth from "extinction".
As Merkel and her ministers met at the chancellery, hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked a major bridge nearby.
The government also wants to raise car and air traffic taxes as well as increase a road toll for trucks from 2023. It also wants to extend subsidies for electric cars and broaden a charging network.
More plans include the revival of onshore wind turbine construction after it declined due to bureaucracy and citizens' opposition. Building up renewable energy capacity is paramount given plans to phase out both nuclear and coal power plants.
The Extinction Rebellion movement, which started last year, pushed the UK government in June to become the first in the European Union to commit itself to a net-zero target for harmful emissions by 2050.