In order to save the controversial heating law, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) continues to approach his critics. In the current week, three important meetings on the topic will take place so that the draft can go to the Bundestag. For Tuesday evening, Habeck had first invited the rapporteurs for energy and construction of the three traffic light factions virtually. As the ministry announced, it was a matter of "answering the 77 questions asked by the FDP rapporteurs and, if necessary, further inquiries".
Business correspondent in Berlin
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Within the government, the Liberals have the greatest doubts about the Building Energy Act and have initially prevented its first reading. This blockade is extraordinary, as there is already a cabinet decision. The coalition committee had also spoken out in favour of adopting it before the summer break at the beginning of July. This timetable is in jeopardy, but Habeck is currently doing everything he can to keep to it.
Agreement on Wednesday?
A consensus could be reached this Wednesday when the responsible vice-chairmen of the red-green-yellow parliamentary groups deal with the law. If an agreement is reached there after the "clearing" of the FDP questions on Tuesday, the parliamentary procedure could begin, including the pre-agreed changes. That would not be a completely new draft, as the FDP would like – there is not enough time to get one through the cabinet again. But the liberals could boast that they have taken away the destructive power of the "heating hammer".
In order to involve associations in the new edition, Habeck will meet on Thursday with their representatives, in particular with the housing industry. This is because the "heat transition" affects millions of homeowners and tenants, but also manufacturers, craftsmen and energy suppliers. At Pentecost, Habeck had shown a willingness to compromise. In a video message, he moved away from the obligation that from January 1, 2024, at least 65 percent of all new heating systems would have to run on renewable energies, such as heat pumps.
The minister's search for a compromise outside parliament for a finished cabinet draft was met with convulsions among parliamentarians – even in the ranks of the governing parties. "Clarifying open questions before the deliberations in the Bundestag is certainly helpful in view of the urgent time. Ultimately, however, the agreement must take place between the traffic light factions," said Nina Scheer, the energy policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, the F.A.Z. "Ministries only have an assisting function in the parliamentary process, such as answering questions from parliament," she said with a clear tip against Habeck. "However, the work on the law is now in parliament."