05 Nov 2021, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

Climate among stumbling blocks which could delay German coalition talks - Green Party

Der Spiegel / Süddeutsche Zeitung / Handelsblatt

The German coalition talks could take longer than the planned deadline at the end of November, Green Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock has said, arguing that “key levers” in climate policy still had to be pulled before her party could sign a coalition contract with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Free Democrats (FDP), news magazine Der Spiegel reports. “We’re not at a point where we could seal the deal,” Baerbock said after about four weeks of talks between the three parties. “A renewal of our country is supposed to happen in the next four years. So it won’t make a huge difference if the talks take four days more or less.”

Climate policy and finance are key stumbling blocks in the negotiations, reports Constanze von Bullion in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The three "traffic light coalition" parties have aimed to finalise a coalition agreement by the end of November, with a new SPD chancellor Olaf Scholz planned to take office in the week starting on 6 December. This schedule is now at risk,. "We see too little progress at the moment in terms of substance," said Michael Kellner, Green Party secretary general. Bullion writes that Green Party sources said the disagreements were not insurmountable. Whether the chancellor's election will be delayed now depends on what the SPD and FDP can offer.

German business daily Handelsblatt reports that the Green Party leadership has replied to a letter from environmental NGOs criticising vague wording in a preliminary agreement. “We still want and need to achieve a lot in the coalition negotiations that have just begun, especially in climate and biodiversity protection,” the Greens’ leadership wrote in response. The parties’ preliminary agreement "unfortunately still lacks the necessary clarity" and the Greens plan to work to "achieve what is necessary" in the coalition agreements. They called on the NGOs to “work towards the SPD and FDP bringing in ambitious proposals here.”

The SPD, Greens and FDP are knee-deep in negotiations for an agreement that will form the basis for a government coalition over the coming four years. In a preliminary agreement, the parties said their central task will be to bring Germany on a path in line with the target to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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