Germany’s 130 billion euro ($145 billion) recovery budget puts the focus on climate-friendly industries and technologies, underscoring Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pledge to reboot the economy and wean it off fossil power and cars that laid the foundation of the country’s export prowess.
The plan unveiled late on Wednesday after 21 hours of intense negotiations is the most ambitious yet by any government to support green initiatives. Divided into 57 different points addressing sectors from taxes to families to agriculture, the budget allocates about 41 billion euros to areas like public transport, electric vehicles and renewable energy, according to calculations by Bloomberg News.
The accord is also notable for what it omits. Unlike in the aftermath of the financial crisis, when the powerful automotive sector received financial aid in the form of purchase incentives, no money was allocated to combustion-engine vehicles this time. Instead, buyers of battery-powered cars stand to benefit from bigger subsidies, highlighting the change in priorities in Europe’s automotive heartland.