14 Mar 2019, 13:33
Benjamin Wehrmann

Bad marks for Germany’s climate-relevant ministries after first year in office


The ministries responsible for implementing climate policy in Germany get bad marks from newspaper Tagesspiegel in an analysis of their first year in office after the government was sworn in on 14 March 2018. Economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier is said to have “started the term already tired” and achieved “almost nothing” in energy policy except making businesses angry with him. “This is rare for a conservative CDU economy minister,” the article says, adding that the long vacancy of the position of a state secretary for energy, which Altmaier filled only in February, had become a “running gag” at Berlin’s political events.
Environment minister Svenja Schulze had to fend off hostilities from many of her colleagues, including Altmaier, the newspaper says. This had made it difficult for her to develop her profile as a determined advocate of climate action, but her most decisive battle is still to be decided, as the Chancellery currently reviews the minister’s controversial concept of a Climate Action Law for Germany. Finally, transport minister Andreas Scheuer is said to have disappointed even those who expected very little of him in the first place. Instead of holding Germany’s carmakers accountable for their role in the dieselgate scandal and to rigorously work towards bringing down emissions in his sector and to avoid diesel driving bans, Scheuer attacks environmental organisations and talks about air taxis. “An obvious red herring by a minister who so far has achieved next to nothing regarding the transition in the transport sector,” according to the article.

Germany’s government of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) entered into their third coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2018, putting an end to the longest government formation period in the country’s post-war history. The renewed coalition was heavily opposed, especially by members of the SPD, who vowed to review its participation in government by late 2019 and could possibly end the coalition well before the official end of its term in late 2021.

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