How good is the German coalition’s climate package?
The parties of Gemany’s governing coalition, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, have reached a deal on several contentious issues. On climate protection, each sector will no longer have to meet annual CO2 targets individually but there will be an aggregated emissions target for all sectors instead. In addition, the goal of climate neutrality by 2045 is to be achieved primarily through emissions trading, and there will be fast-tracked approval for rail and road transport projects. Commentators say the plans don’t go far enough.
Nothing but symbols
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung asks what is left of the Greens after these decisions:
“They must seriously fear for their ecological core brand after agreeing as part of the traffic light coalition that the fight for the earth’s climate can also be achieved by watering down climate regulations, bailing out the Deutsche Bahn and preserving fossil heating systems. ... Those who plan to continue using up natural resources will no longer have to compensate for this ecologically. It will suffice for them to put a sum of money on the table, and the solar panels that are to be set up along hundreds of kilometres of new motorways will be all the green symbols they need.”
A policy that divides society
The taz criticises the fact that the governing coalition is relying on high CO2 prices as the main instrument to combat the climate crisis:
“For the rich, this is not a problem; they won’t have to change their lifestyle. For people who don’t have much money, however, it’s a disaster. Many are already at a loss as to how they’ll pay their high energy bills. The policies of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP are not only fuelling global warming but also dividing society.”
A big relief for one party
The deal comes just in time for the liberals, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung explains:
“The FDP is a party in crisis. It desperately needed this success. Its poll ratings are lousy and its results in the last state elections were a disaster. Its core voters have been alienated by a party that on the one hand supports radical changes in social and family policy (free choice of gender, a ‘communities of responsibility’ instead of families) but on the other hand is standing by and watching how, in the midst of the energy crisis, the country’s last nuclear power plants are being shut down.”
Sound governance needed now
Instead of making grandiose statements the governing "traffic light" coalition should get down to work, Der Standard demands:
“Germany has no alternative to the current SPD, Green Party and FDP government. This government must continue until the next election. One can only hope that its style and handling will improve. Now its plans must be drawn up as bills, a budget is needed, and in these financially strained times everything must fit together. We can imagine what will happen. Perhaps, however, the traffic light will come to its senses and scale back its claim to be the best coalition ever. Normal, sound government would be progress enough for now.”