BERLIN, June 26 (Reuters) - The German government is considering launching a plan worth billions of euros to boost energy efficiency and cut the use of oil, electricity and gas, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
According to the plan, the government would increase the amount set aside to modernise older buildings to 3.5 billion euros ($4.7 billion), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing documents prepared for a meeting between government coalition officials and the energy industry on Tuesday.
State support for renewable energy and cogeneration — the simultaneous production of electricity and heat — will also be increased, the paper reported in a preview of its Wednesday edition, citing the documents.
Spending on research into climate change and new energy technologies would be raised clearly above the current 500 million euros annually, the paper added. Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned the energy industry against obstructing efforts to protect the climate, the Frankfurter Allgemeine reported.
“There are some managers who belong to yesterday and who use similar arguments to (U.S.) President George Bush,” Gabriel told the paper.
He criticised Juergen Hambrecht, chief executive of chemicals group BASF BASF.DE, saying Hambrecht’s arguments were like “economic Stalinism.”
Hambrecht used the argument “if the government does not do what we want, then we won’t talk to the government anymore,” the paper quoted the minister as saying.
The meeting of top officials from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition and industry leaders in the chancellery in Berlin is intended to lay the groundwork for a national energy plan in the autumn.