The next German government and the energy transition

Germany seeks to remain climate pioneer with a "clean, secure and affordable" Energiewende

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Germany's would-be government partners, acting Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), have agreed a coalition treaty, concluding weeks of intensive negotiations. Should SPD party members vote in favour of the deal, the renewed grand coalition could get to work in March 2018, nearly six months after the election. The parties say they want to continue the Energiewende in a "clean, secure and affordable manner," and make sure Germany remains a pioneer in climate protection. Experts and commentators criticise the lack of concrete proposals on topics ranging from the country’s coal exit, reaching climate targets and the goal of a 65 percent renewables share in the power mix to strengthening the German power grid.

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The agreement

Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit dateGermany's would-be governing coalition partners have concluded a treaty that is likely to result in a final deadline for coal-fired power production in Germany. The agreement reached after weeks of intensive talks largely confirms the most important energy and climate policy positions of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) that emerged a few days earlier. However, the deal can still be scrapped by the SPD's members, who will vote on the treaty with the outcome expected in early March

The Clean Energy Wire presents excerpts on climate, energy and transport from the agreement in this factsheet.

Reactions to Germany's coalition agreement - The Clean Energy Wire presents first reactions to texts on transport, climate and energy by politicians, industry, NGOs and the media.

 

Interviews

Joachim Pfeiffer, CDU energy policy spokesperson

2030 renewables goal "not difficult" - The coalition agreement by Germany's would-be coalition parties CDU/CSU and SPD is a step towards "realistic" Energiewende policy, says CDU energy policy spokesperson Joachim Pfeiffer. He argues a coal exit date for Germany - envisaged in the coalition treaty - is not necessary as the country is on track to meet its pledges made under the Paris Agreement either way. This will partly be due to an ambitious expansion of renewable energy sources, which according to Pfeiffer will be achieved "without any difficulties."

Andreas Löschel, economist and head of the government-appointed independent expert commission on Energiewende monitoring

The provisions on climate, energy, and transport in the coalition treaty agreed by Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) recognise the big challenges of Germany’s energy transition project, but lack concrete instruments and measures, says Andreas Löschel, economist and head of the government-appointed independent expert commission on Energiewende monitoring. The planned commissions, mandated for example to plan the phase-out of coal-fired power generation, could deliver the “innovative proposals” needed. The Clean Energy Wire asked the energy transition expert about CO₂ pricing, a reform of the energy taxes and levies system, grid pricing, and the integration of renewable energy sources.

Bernd Westphal, Social Democratic (SPD) energy spokesman

Social Democratic (SPD) energy spokesman Bernd Westphal told CLEW in an interview. He concedes that the challenges awaiting the country in terms of further integrating renewable energy sources and reducing emissions are going to be significant. While the SPD's and Conservatives' decision to water down Germany's 2020 climate goal was "no drama," there will be "no more excuses" in 2030.

Lisa Badum, climate spokesperson for the Green Party’s parliamentary group

In their coalition treaty, negotiators from Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed to set up a special commission charged with managing the phase-out of coal-fired power generation in Germany, which includes setting an end date by next year. This means taking the easy way out, because such a commission does not substitute for political action, says Lisa Badum, climate spokesperson for the Green Party’s parliamentary group. It would need more time, and thus it is the wrong instrument, because urgent action is needed on climate protection, Badum told the Clean Energy Wire.

 

How did we get here?

Coalition watch - This regularly updated article traces the progress of coalition building.

The dossier Vote2017 – German elections and the Energiewende bundles CLEW’s entire election coverage.

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