Climate 'greatest challenge' for next German government, says CSU leader as he courts Green Party
Bavaria's state premier Markus Söder has said that global warming will be the central challenge for whoever forms a government in Germany after September’s general elections, newspaper Die Welt reports. "I'm deeply convinced we still need to do more regarding climate action," Söder said, arguing that work on a "grand water strategy" is particularly urgent and has been largely neglected so far. He also reiterated his support for a coalition between the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Green Party following the federal elections this year.
Söder, who could become the CDU/CSU's candidate for chancellor and follow-on from fellow conservative Angela Merkel, said a coalition with the Greens would mean "reconciling economy with ecology" and would be the favoured option for many in the country. A continuation of the current coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD), on the other hand, would merely be seen as a "crisis task force" that enjoys little support among the electorate, Söder said. The CSU leader explicitly lauded the Green Party's positioning in the pandemic, arguing the party had been "a more reliable partner than many others" over the past months.
According to polls, Söder is currently the public’s favourite to follow Merkel as chancellor. But it is still uncertain whether he will run as candidate for the conservative alliance, as Armin Laschet, the new leader of the much bigger CDU, which operates in every state except Bavaria, might claim the candidacy for himself. A coalition between the Greens and the CDU/CSU alliance has been the favoured government option of a majority of respondents in polls.