Increased calls for German Energy Ministry
Published: 30 Dec 2012 14:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Dec 2012 14:16 GMT+01:00
More and more politicians are calling on the German government to establish an Energy Ministry after the next election, in the face of slow progress in the country's transition to renewable power sources.
"The significance of energy policy for our country would justify this step in my opinion," said Gerda Hasselfeldt, regional head of the Bavarian Christian Social Union.
The European Union's energy commissioner Günther Oettinger chimed in with the call, pointing out that other EU members already had their own energy ministry.
Oettinger added that Germany had suffered in the past from not being able to assert itself quickly and strongly enough in Brussels when it came to important energy issues.
He told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that Chancellor Angela Merkel would therefore "be well-advised to bundle responsibilities after the general election and install an Energy Ministry - regardless of who she governs with."
At the moment, responsibility for energy policy is divided between the Environment and Economy Ministries, which sometimes prevents the government from presenting a coherent line.
This was particularly evident in negotiations over the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive, as well as talks over emissions trading. For instance, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier supports the European Commission's plan to take surplus emissions certificates out of circulation, while Economy Minister Philipp Rösler opposes it.