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Other countries do not see the German energy transition as a role model

Protester holding a sign that reads "We know what we want: CO2-tax immediately!"

The Federal Government repeatedly claims the global role model function of the double exit from nuclear power and coal. But especially in the immediate neighbor countries, energy experts are little inclined to emulate Germany. According to a survey, most expect the German economy to weaken.

The political rationale for the German energy transition primarily includes its role model function for the rest of the world. "Who, if not us, should show that you can counter climate change," Merkel said recently in the Bundestag. This formulation has become a mantra for Merkel's policies. This is the only way to justify the total reorganization of German energy supply to the service of the global climate given a share of around two percent in man-made CO2 emissions. But does the rest of the world see Germany as a model of energy policy, to emulate?

Barely. At least that's the result of a study by the World Energy Council. It is significant that just from the immediate neighbors in Europe Germany's energy transition is not considered as worthy of emulation. The further away (and probably less informed about the German energy reality), the greater the energy policy reputation of Germany.

The World Energy Council surveys the global network of experts every two years as part of the study "A blueprint for the world - How does the world see the German energy transition?" 77% of the 119 energy experts from 60 countries surveyed worldwide stated that the German energy transition has been observed, and led to discussions or even concrete measures in their countries. The assessment of German energy policy is very different: 11% of European experts rate German energy policy as a blueprint for the world, compared to 43% of experts from outside the EU. But that does not mean that Europeans do not share the climate protection goal. On the contrary: While climate protection is the most important motivation for an energy turnaround at home for European experts (58%), economic growth outside Europe comes first with 26%, security (23%) and access to energy (17%).

How the energy transition in Germany will affect economic strength is controversial: According to the survey, 67% of European experts expect Germany's economic power to weaken by 2030. In contrast, there is a majority of experts from outside Europe, who will continue to do so in the medium term by 2030 (57 %) or expect a strengthening of economic power in the long term by 2050 (84%). "The results show that it is still unclear how energy policy will affect Germany's economic strength. Only when the energy turnaround has a positive economic effect will countries outside Europe in particular take more examples,” comments Carsten Rolle, Managing Director of the World Energy Council.

The willingness to accept higher energy prices for climate protection is also rated higher in Europe, at least for households. Half of the European experts believe that the population would accept up to 20% higher energy prices for more climate protection. The rest of the world is more skeptical: the majority do not believe that there is a willingness for higher energy prices for climate protection for households (66%) and industry (57%). At the same time, over 80% of all respondents see CO2 pricing as an important measure for climate protection.

The contradiction shows that the willingness for climate protection to accept losses in purchasing power, which are now expected of Germans, does not exist in the rest of the world. In other words: you'd better wait and see how the Germans fare with the energy transition before following them.

Tichys Einblick

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