German parliament passes bill phasing out oil and gas heating systems

(Reuters) - Germany's lower house of parliament on Friday passed a bill on phasing out oil and gas heating systems after months of wrangling, but the watered-down bill means the sector's 2030 climate goal cannot be reached, the economy ministry said.

Under the bill, part of Germany's drive to become climate neutral by 2045, heating systems installed in new developments and in old buildings located in areas with a municipal heating plan will have to run on 65% renewable energy.

Gas heaters may still be installed from next year if they can be converted to hydrogen, including in new buildings if they are not part of new developments.

Some 399 parliamentarians voted in favor, 275 opposed and five abstained.

The government will subsidize the switch with money from its Climate And Transformation Fund, with the goal of cutting emissions in Germany's building sector by 2030. The sector was responsible for 112 million tons of greenhouse gases last year, or 15% of Germany's total emissions.

The economy ministry acknowledged that watering down the bill's original draft, which would have imposed the green switch much earlier, would mean Germany won't reach its emissions goal in the sector by 2030.

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