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04 Oct 2021, 12:19
Julian Wettengel

Climate and digitalisation key issues in exploratory German coalition talks

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

German parties shared a few details only on the ongoing exploratory coalition talks after the national election, but said that climate action, digitalisation and the country’s modernisation were the key issues. “Everything that needs to be tackled by the government in the next few years – climate action, digitalisation, the question of how we modernise the country, also the question of the European dimension – all these played a role,” said SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil after a first meeting with the Green Party’s leadership on 3 October. He added that the Social Democrats are “now ready for three-way talks” with the Greens and the FDP, as the SPD and the pro-business FDP had met earlier in the day. Following those talks, FDP general secretary Volker Wissing said  differences remained, but “it is clear that we are determined to form a future-oriented government that will move our country forward.”

“Climate action must now go full steam ahead,” said Green Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock after the meeting with the SPD. At a party conference on Saturday (2 October), Baerbock had said her party would not accept a “small package of reforms” in this area, but instead called for a “fundamental transformation,” Tagesspiegel Background reported.

Coalition talks could begin in earnest soon, because the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Green Party will meet on Tuesday (4 October) as the last pair to seek common ground. After that, the parties will decide whether further exploratory talks are necessary, or whether three-way talks can begin. An alliance between the SPD, the Green Party and the FDP looks to be the most likely option for coalition talks, but the CDU/CSU has kept the door open for a so-called “Jamaica coalition” with the Greens and the FDP as well. Germany is heading towards a three-party federal government with a significant climate action focus as the Social Democrats scored a thin victory in the federal elections  while the long-ruling conservatives slumped to their worst result ever. Coalition talks could last for months and the current government under chancellor Angela Merkel would be asked to continue to carry out its duties until then.

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