06 Sep 2023, 13:21
Julian Wettengel

Chancellor Scholz calls on all levels of govt to pull together for German modernisation

Clean Energy Wire

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has proposed a "Pact for Germany" in which all levels of government and the opposition pull together to guarantee the country's success in the future. Scholz told parliament that the cooperation should focus on five key areas where citizens prioritised progress: Energy supply, "which must be clean, secure and affordable"; the construction of new housing; the modernisation of infrastructure; business competitiveness; and the digitalisation of administration. "We need a national effort, let's join forces," he said. "Speed instead of stagnation, action instead of sitting it out, cooperation instead of squabbling." Referring to his comments from earlier this year that Germany had to construct up to five wind turbines and solar arrays of a combined size of 43 football pitches every day until 2030, he said the country had already shown what is possible. "We already have 30 ‘football pitches’ per day being installed," and 200 wind turbine permits granted in June meant that "the four to five wind turbines per day are also achievable." He added that necessary electricity and hydrogen grid expansion over the coming years "will trigger investments of more than one hundred billion euros and create thousands of good jobs."

Scholz emphasised that Germany – through collaboration – had got through the COVID-19 pandemic with fewer victims than other countries, and had freed itself from the dependence on Russian energy supplies "without supply bottlenecks, without blackouts, without a winter of discontent". Scholz is not the first politician to plead for unity and urge cooperation among warring factions of government. In 2019, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was head of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said all parties had to come together in a "national climate consensus". She said unity was key to winning people over because the issue itself touched all areas of life. However, such pleas for cooperation have often fallen on deaf ears.

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