After the dismissal of Graichen, Union politicians call for a stop to the heating law


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Status: 05/17/2023 11:35 p.m

After the dismissal of State Secretary Graichen, Union politicians are calling for the amendment to the Building Energy Act, for which he is responsible, to be stopped. According to Linnemann, member of the CDU federal executive board, the law “completely ignores reality”.

After the dismissal of the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Patrick Graichen, Union politicians called for the controversial reform of the Building Energy Act (GEG) to be stopped.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) “should now completely stop the law,” said CDU member of the Bundestag Carsten Linnemann to the newspapers of the Bayern media group. It goes “completely past reality”.

nepotism and compliance rule violations

Habeck had previously announced Graichen’s dismissal. He had made himself “too vulnerable to still be able to exercise his office effectively”. The background was allegations of nepotism, which according to Habeck turned out to be justified in at least two cases.

For example, Graichen was involved in awarding a top position at the federal German Energy Agency (Dena) to his best man, Michael Schäfer. He is also said to have violated compliance rules within the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The reason for this is repeated conflicts of interest between professional and private life.

Graichen was responsible for the so-called heating law

Graichen is considered the architect of the GEG amendment. The draft envisages that from 2024, heating systems should generally only be installed if at least 65 percent of the heat is generated by renewable energies. In practice, this amounts to a far-reaching ban on new oil and gas heating systems.

The Union has sharply criticized the plans for months. Graichen “made a serious mistake in selecting the head of Dena and the building energy law for which he is responsible does more harm to climate protection than it does,” said CDU MEP Peter Liese. Neither Linnemann nor Liese explained how the allegations against Graichen were related to the GEG reform.

Federal Economics Minister Habeck and Federal Building Minister Geywitz present an accompanying funding concept.

Habeck points to the agreement of the coalition

After the announcement of the departure of his state secretary, Habeck was confident that the process would have no impact on the GEG. He referred in particular to the corresponding agreement within the traffic light coalition: “A cabinet always decides unanimously, and so to speak, the party and parliamentary group leaders have also said within the various government partners that this is what we want.”

In the current parliamentary process, there could certainly be changes and “hopefully” improvements, Habeck said. But there should be “no relapse to the coalition committee”.

Kühnert sees no reason for delay

The SPD also sees no reason to postpone the heating law because of Graichen’s departure. Secretary General Kevin Kühnert pointed out ZDF a corresponding request from the FDP. “Both issues have nothing to do with each other,” emphasized Kühnert. There is no climate neutrality in Germany without addressing the type of heating. Nothing has changed in this need.

The FDP energy expert Michael Kruse said in the ZDF, the parliament now lacks a contact person for the heating law. Habeck would therefore be well advised to present a new timetable for the law. The Economics Minister is aiming for the Building Energy Act to be passed before the parliamentary summer recess.

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