A climate policy that spares everyone does not deserve the name – opinion
The Energiewende (energy transition) is the linchpin of German climate policy, but the governing parties do little to deal with opposition, explain the generational project to citizens and let them profit more from the process, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. That is a problem, because effective climate action means there will be winners and losers. “A climate policy that spares everyone does not force anyone to act; such a climate policy does not deserve the name. And, obviously, it is no longer enough for many voters,” writes Bauchmüller. The government has to deal with “uncomfortable questions,” such as how much growth can the planet deal with. “Welfare, good living, that can also be a life with fewer cars, less long-distance travel and less meat. If the coalition does not start to change its thinking here, there will soon be less union [conservative CDU/CSU], less SPD,” writes Bauchmüller.
Polls on the European election revealed that the environment and climate topped the voters’ list of reasons for their decision. Forty-eight percent said that it played the largest role in their choice, trailed by other issues, such as social security and immigration. The Green Party’s election success has increased pressure on Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU-SPD government coalition to find answers to key climate policy questions. Merkel has set up the so-called climate cabinet, a group of ministers with key responsibilities for climate issues, which is to come up with climate action proposals by the end of the year.