Traffic light climate policy: impatience is growing among the Greens


Status: 03/21/2023 11:09 am

For the Greens, climate policy is progressing too slowly in the traffic light. They see the brakes not only in the FDP. The Greens group now wants to increase the pressure on their retreat, for example when it comes to phasing out coal.

By Björn Dake, ARD Capital Studio

Katharina Dröge believes that impatience is a motor that keeps things moving forward. At the beginning of the year, the leader of the Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag and her colleague Britta Haßelmann proclaimed the “Year of Climate Protection”. A good two months later, the Bundestag passed the so-called Deutschlandticket for buses and trains. Planning for wind and solar systems should also go faster. But that’s not all.

The word “ideally”

The Greens’ next project is to phase out coal in 2030 – eight years earlier than originally planned. For the Rhenish Revier in North Rhine-Westphalia, the earlier exit is a done deal. That leaves Lusatia in Brandenburg and Saxony and the central German area in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP had already set 2030 as the date, but the word “ideally” is still there. The Greens would like to delete that now. Otherwise the climate goals cannot be met.

“We need more impatience”

The pressure does not only come from the many young MPs in the group who are close to the climate movement. Some demonstrated in Lützerath against coal mining. But even Dröge’s predecessor at the head of the parliamentary group, Anton Hofreiter, is progressing too slowly in climate policy: “In my opinion, we almost need more impatience,” he says ARD Capital Studio. In recent months, Hofreiter has been particularly impatient when it comes to arms deliveries to Ukraine. But the impatience shows up on other issues.

In the budget deliberations, the Greens are insisting more and more loudly that there is enough money for the basic child security project. They criticize the fact that the FDP is blocking faster planning for rail projects and also wants to give priority to roads. While the Liberals are promoting so-called e-fuels, the Greens are backing electromobility. The list goes on.

The fact that the draft from the Green-led Economics Ministry for the planned ban on new oil and gas heating systems was made public earlier than planned is causing a bad mood in the coalition. Control over communication is so important to the Greens.

Brakeman in the Chancellery?

Former parliamentary group leader Hofreiter says something that some of his colleagues only say in a small circle: For the Greens, the FDP is not the biggest brake on climate policy: “At first glance it may look like that, at second glance it is However, the main responsibility in the chancellery or with the chancellor personally.” The picture seems to be solidifying for the Greens: They are the only ones in government who are really fighting for the climate.

This impatience in turn annoys the coalition partners. SPD parliamentary group leader Detlef Müller says that the coalition must keep its word on the timetable for phasing out coal in the east. Constantly announcing new deadlines creates uncertainty. FDP faction deputy Carina Konrad calls it “imprudent” to keep writing down new numbers for the coal phase-out.

Green faction leader Dröge does not want to be put off by this. She works every day to bring the laws into the Bundestag together with the coalition partners: “And of course it’s the Greens who then push the climate protection.”

LEAG works council cancels at short notice

At their retreat in Weimar, the parliamentary group wanted to start a discussion about structural change in the East German coalfields. The works council of the energy company LEAG rejected the invitation at short notice. In an open letter that ARD Capital Studio is available, it says: The structural change in the region will not succeed through “an arbitrary new exit date”. The works council stands by the coal phase-out law – and thus by the date 2038. The impatience of the Greens goes too far for some.

The impatience of the Greens

Björn Dake, ARD Berlin currently Weimar, March 21, 2023 11:09 a.m

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