In the upcoming coalition talks in Germany, four political parties will have to negotiate a common plan for the next legislative period. Photo: Pixabay.

Coalition watch – The making of a new German government

Negotiations to form a coalition of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the pro-business FDP, and the environmentalist Green Party following September’s general elections have collapsed after almost five weeks of deliberations. This leaves three main options: A renewal of a “grand coalition” of Conservatives and Social Democrats (SPD), a minority government, or new elections. This regularly updated factsheet traces the progress of coalition building. [UPDATE – 12, 14&15 December]

Find further details and analyses in the factsheets Climate & energy stumbling blocks for Jamaica-coalition talks, The long road to a new government coalition in Germany, and Vote2017: German parties' energy & climate policy positions.

The dossier Vote2017 – German elections and the Energiewende bundles CLEW’s entire election coverage.

To keep track of the most recent developments, also check our daily News Digest and follow us on twitter  @cleanenergywire.

 

15 December

The leadership of the Social Democrats (SPD) unanimously decides to start exploratory talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on a renewal of the "grand coalition" of Germany's two largest political camps. But SPD head Martin Schulz said it remained unclear whether this would eventually lead to formal coalition talks.

 

14 December

The Social Democrats (SPD) have compiled a list of 11 topics to be addressed during talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on renewing a grand coalition of Germany’s two largest political camps. Talking point number 11 is entitled “For climate protection and a successful Energiewende”, and says that Germany must pursue ambitious climate targets at home and abroad in order to preserve its industrial base.

 

12 December

The Green Party is “still ready for talks” on becoming part of a possible government coalition in Germany, the party’s parliamentary group co-leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt has said in an interview with Welt Online. She said that her party would be ready for talks on forming a minority government with Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance as well as for a renewal of talks on a so-called Jamaica coalition with the conservatives and the pro-business FDP, which dropped out of exploratory consultations in late November.

 

7 December

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) decides at a party convention to enter talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance on a renewal of the grand coalition between Germany’s two largest parties. SPD delegates favoured the start of talks by a wide margin after party head Martin Schulz vehemently appealed to them to agree. Schulz also said a coal exit was inevitable to reach Germany’s climate targets, but insisted the shift must not come at the expense of workers. Informal talks are scheduled to start on 13 December and formal talks won't begin before January, according to news agency dpa.

 

6 December

A new government is unlikely to be formed in Germany before spring 2018, Olaf Scholz, deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper. Scholz, who also is mayor of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, said that “I don’t expect a federal government, in whatever constellation, to be formed before spring”, adding that Germany nevertheless remained politically stable with its current acting government coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD.

Scholz said Merkel would need a lot of strength to broker a consensus between the two parties to join forces once again and continue a grand coalition government - a constellation the SPD ruled out after the elections but has since reconsidered following the collapse of talks over a so-called ‘Jamaica coalition’. “I’m not sure whether the chancellor has sufficient strength to do it”, Scholz added.

 

4 December

The Social Democratic (SPD) party leadership has agreed on entering talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the SPD's executive committee says in a proposed resolution seen by the Clean Energy Wire. The party leaders say the SPD could "not remain indifferent whether or not we have a federal government or new elections", adding they felt "obliged" to enter talks on a possible renewal of the so-called grand coalition. SPD party leader Martin Schulz repeatedly ruled out a government participation for his party after it incurred heavy losses in September's elections. However, he was faced with mounting pressure to reconsider this position after talks on a possible Jamaica coalition collapsed. Schulz will be tasked with explaning this turnaround to party delegates at a convention from 7-9 December.

In the proposed resolution, the SPD leadership says that an "ambitious climate protection" policy, a "consistent expansion of renewable energy sources" and "financial support" for negatively affected industries were going to be "essential points" in its talks with the conservative camp. There could be no "carry on" approach for a new government and the party leadership would decide whether it enters into formal coalition negotiations or possibly accepts a conservative minority government after sounding out "if there's enough trust" in the potential partner during talks that are scheduled to begin next week.

 

1 December

The economic council of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU says the party should give serious consideration to a minority government, in order to avoid a new grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD). In a statement, the economic council said a grand coalition would only be possible if the CDU agreed to the SPD’s demands on welfare policy, which it says are “far too costly”. The council also argues that a renewal of the CDU-SPD coalition would weaken both parties, strengthening the far-right and far-left fringes of German politics. The CDU's Economic Council is no internal party organ but rather a business association positioning itself close to the CDU's economic policy principles. 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with the party leaders of the CDU, its Bavarian sister party the CSU, and the SPD, to sound out a possible coalition. Social Democratic Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his party would not rush into a decision on exploratory talks with the conservatives. “Nobody should expect this to happen quickly,” Gabriel said.

 

27 November

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has greenlighted talks aimed at reviving the so-called grand coalition with rival Social Democratic Party (SPD). A renewal of the coalition between the country’s two largest parties is seen as the only politically viable option to prevent a minority government or new elections after the failure of talks between the conservatives, the pro-business FDP and the environmentalist Green Party. The SPD initially rejected a continuation of the grand coalition but now finds itself under pressure to preserve stability. Merkel's deputy in the conservative party, Julia Klöckner, said real coalition talks with the Social Democrats might not start before January.

 

24 November

Following the collapse of “Jamaica” coalition talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the pro-business FDP and the environmentalist Green Party, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has led talks with all parties present in the new parliament to sound out options for forming a new government. Steinmeier said parties must be ready to compromise, making clear he wanted to avoid new elections. He appealed to parties they must do justice to the political responsibility transferred to them, rather than simply handing it back to voters.

After the meeting between Steinmeier and Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz, the party signalled a willingness to talk, reversing their categorical refusal to enter government made shortly after the elections. Schulz said on Friday SPD members will get to vote on any leadership decision to join government.

 

20 November

German coalition talks collapse despite progress on climate and energy - After almost five weeks of deliberations, the pro-business Free Democratic Party has pulled the plug on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a coalition government made up of her conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the Greens and the FDP. Migration was ultimately the most contentious issue, with politicians insisting disagreements over energy and climate policy were not the ultimate reason for the collapse. The Greens and CSU accused the FDP of playing tactical games. SPD head Martin Schulz reiterated that his party would not enter another grand coalition – making a minority government or new elections realistic options.

 

17 November

Little climate progress as Germany's coalition talks enter overtime - Germany's aspiring coalition partners have made little headway in key climate and energy issues as exploratory talks dragged on past the self-imposed Thursday deadline. A new offer by Chancellor Angela Merkel to cut coal-fired power production by 7 GW by 2020 was rejected by the Greens, but the three political camps also failed to find compromises in many other policy areas after four weeks of deliberations. The talks will now resume on Friday, and might stretch into the weekend. Read the CLEW story here.

 

14 November

Greens reject coal offer tabled by conservatives, FDP in German coalition talks - Germany’s Green Party has rejected an offer tabled by its aspiring coalition partners to reduce the country’s coal power capacity by up to 5 gigawatt (GW), news agency Reuters reports. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the pro-business FDP say that Germany’s coal capacity can be reduced by a maximum of 3 to 5 GW by 2020 without threatening power supply security. The Greens, on the other hand, insist that capacity must be reduced by 8 to 10 GW to achieve a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions in line with the national 2020 climate targets. Read a CLEW story on this here

 

10 November

Public enthusiasm for Jamaica coalition wanes - Public support for a new government made up the conservative CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens is falling as coalition talks go on, according to German public broadcaster ARD. An ARD survey shows that 45 percent of Germans think a “Jamaica” coalition would be very good or somewhat good for Germany, down 12 percent points from a month ago. A majority of 52 percent now think it would be not so good, or bad, for the country. Support for the expected government fell most dramatically among Green Party supporters – only 55 percent of whom think it would be good for the country, down 21 percentage points. A majority of 68 percent of Germans still believe the next government will be made up of the three parties currently in talks, but 30 percent now believe the talks will fail, up 9 percentage points on last month.

 

7 November

Greens ready to make climate policy concessions in coalition talks - As Germany’s Jamaica coalition talks are approaching a critical point, the Green Party appears to soften core climate policy demands in an attempt to achieve similar concessions from its negotiating partners. Party leaders say that neither their demand for a 2030 fossil combustion engine ban nor a complete coal exit in the same year were set in stone, insisting that the party’s intention to drastically reduce emissions remained unchanged. Reactions from the conservative and market-liberal camps are mixed, but Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that all parties had a responsibility to work towards a compromise and avoid new elections.

 

2 November

Coalition parties meet in small group to unblock climate and energy - A small circle of representatives from CDU, CSU, FDP and the Green Party will meet this afternoon (2 November) to try and find common ground on climate and energy in the ongoing exploratory talks ahead of official negotiations to build the next government coalition. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-hand man and chancellery chief Peter Altmaier, the head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) and former Free Democratic state secretary Stefan Kapferer and current state secretary in the economy and energy ministry Rainer Baake, who is a member of the Green Party, are among the participants, a source close to the talks told the Clean Energy Wire. The group's discussions will inform the next round of exploratory talks on the issue, scheduled for next week.

 

1 November

Combustion engine ban splitting point in coalition talks on transport - After the clash over climate and energy policy last week, the parties also failed to agree on transport policy, an equally controversial topic. At the coalition talks on Wednesday, 1 November, the debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany and looming driving bans for polluting cars in several major cities were splitting points as the potential Jamaica coalition partners’ ideas for the future of the mighty German car industry differ considerably.

FDP, CSU politicians oppose general driving bans - Key representatives of FDP and CSU have spoken out against driving bans for cars. “For us it’s clear that we oppose general driving bans and that the call for a combustion engine ban by 2030 is not doable with us,” said current transport minister Alexander Dobrindt ahead of exploratory coalition talks, reports German broadcaster ARD. FDP head Christian Lindner told Bild in an interview that there would be “no driving bans with the FDP. We can make traffic more environmentally friendly by way of electrification and digitalisation […]. Because the air quality is already good, we should take more time when it comes to stricter EU limits, if need be,” said Lindner.

 

30 October

More trust after leadership meeting - A party leadership meeting of CDU, CSU, FDP and the Green Party on 29 October was “a significant step towards more trust”, said Green parliamentary group head Katrin Göring-Eckhardt in an interview with public German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. It came after coalition talks got stuck over climate and energy policy, as well as politics last week. “Now, we will see if that also takes effect in this week’s talks,” she said. Germany reaching its climate targets was an “elementary” issue for the Greens. “Now, we have to see how to get there, while ensuring supply security and affordability,” said Göring-Eckhardt.

 

27 October

Coalition talks on climate goals, energy policy "heated" - FDP negotiator - Talks got stuck over the question whether Germany “must” reach its national climate targets, or whether it should merely “try” to do so. The Clean Energy Wire talked to Stefan Birkner, former climate and environment minister in the state of Lower Saxony and a member of the Free Democrats’ (FDP) team in the ongoing exploratory talks.

Coalition talks stuck over climate, energy policy - Germany’s future energy and climate policy has proven the expected difficult issue in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to form a government coalition of her conservatives, the Free Democrats, and the Green Party. According to media reports, in their first round of talks dedicated to energy, climate, and environment-related issues, the parties agreed that Germany should continue to aim for meeting the existing national and international climate targets for 2020, 2030, and 2050. Yet the four parties disagreed over the interpretation, with a debate over the question whether Germany “must” reach the targets or whether the country should merely “try” to do so.

 

26 October

Easier to find compromise on migration than climate - It will be easier for CDU, CSU, FDP and the Green Party to find an agreement on migration and asylum than on climate policy, the CDU’s Armin Laschet, state premier of Germany’s industrial heartland North Rhine-Westphalia, told Rheinische Post in an interview. First talks on climate, energy and the environment start today. Laschet represents his party on these topics. “Climate protection is important, but keeping jobs is also a moral goal," he said on the topic of shutting down coal-fired power plants. "If Germany’s status as an industrial location is put in danger, we cannot form a coalition,” Laschet said. He added that Germany would continue to rely on a conventional power for supply security. “We need a mix of lignite, modern hard coal power plants and gas,” he said, adding that there were still no power lines to transport wind power from northern Germany, or adequate storage solutions. NRW’s state government has put together an internal list of topics and proposals for the ongoing government coalition talks, seen by Rheinische Post, including the introduction of a capacity power market.

 

25 October

Budget and taxes: common working basis agreed; possibility of cutting climate-harmful subsidies - In a second round of coalition talks, representatives from CDU, CSU, FDP and the Green Party agreed on “a common working basis” in the areas of budget, finances and taxes, Green leader Cem Özdemir said in a video message after the meeting. A paper published on Twitter by several participants shows the parties agreed not to increase Germany’s public debt, and to cut taxes for low-incomes households and those with children. On energy and climate policy, a “Jamaica” coalition would fund energy-efficient home renovations, and cut subsidies. “We will especially examine subsidies that contradict the climate goals,” the paper says. In 11 further meetings, the parties will identify and balance investment needs in all areas. The CDU, CSU, FDP and Green Party are now weighing up the possibility of entering official coalition negotiations, which could start mid-November and last into 2018.

 

24 October

“Subsidy system of the Renewable Energy Act should be abolished” - The FDP will push for a market-oriented system to pay for renewable energy, and wants to get rid of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and the surcharge for renewables on consumer power prices, Hermann Otto Solms, a member of the FDP negotiating team in the ongoing coalition talks, writes. Solms says the renewables surcharge is a subsidy that costs consumers – and small- and medium-sized businesses in particular – billions. The FDP also wants to reduce the electricity tax.
The possible coalition parties (CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party) will discuss energy, climate and the environment in exploratory talks on Thursday, 26 October.

 

23 October

German Chancellor Angela Merkel aims to wrap up exploratory coalition talks by mid-November, Handelsblatt reports, citing CDU party sources. By then, “general guidelines” for the following official negotiations should be put on paper. The Green Party leadership wants to use these guidelines at a party conference to seek the party’s consent to begin negotiations, writes Handelsblatt.

Anton Hofreiter, head of the Green Party parliamentary group, has called for a “concrete schedule” to allow Germany to reach its 2020 climate targets, Rheinische Post reports. “The coming four years will be decisive for climate protection. Clearly setting the course is essential for us [Greens],” Hofreiter said.

 

20 October

CDU, CSU, FDP and Greens have agreed on a first schedule for exploratory coalition talks. The parties have identified 12 policy areas. On 24 October, representatives will debate budget, taxes and the EU. On 26 October, the whole day is dedicated to climate and energy policy. Further meetings will take place on 30 October, 1 November and 2 November.

 

19 October

Coalition talks between CDU, CSU, FDP and Green Party will be about the parties’ ability “to make something constructive of the differences”, said chancellery chief and Christian Democrat Peter Altmaier in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD after the first round of talks. “Is it possible to reconcile the economy and the environment in a way that allows us to remain a successful economic nation, and still lead in international environment protection? That is one of the big core questions,” said Altmaier.

 

18 October

First talks "positive" - The first talks on forming a government coalition between CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party were “positive”, party representatives said, according to an article by news agency Reuters. But they warned that there is still a long way to go. Merkel and her team met with FDP and Green Party politicians in separate sessions. Talks will continue on 19 October between the Greens and the FDP, before all parties jointly meet for the first time on Friday, 20 October.

 

16 October

Jürgen Trittin, Green parliamentarian and a member of the negotiating team to form a new federal government coalition, told German broadcasters ZDF and ARD after the Lower Saxony state vote on Sunday: “It’s always difficult to negotiate with weakened partners.” With a loss of 2.4 percentage points compared to the last state election, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU won 33.6 percent of the votes in Lower Saxony, the Social Democrats (SPD) won with 36.9 percent. “That makes negotiations, it makes exploratory talks not easier, but more difficult,” said Trittin. In a separate article, news agency Reuters says the result further weakens Merkel as she prepares to negotiate a coalition with the Greens and the pro-business FDP. The CDU’s secretary general Peter Tauber noted that all three parties involved in national coalition talks had lost support in Lower Saxony but said he didn't see negotiations influenced by the result. “It wouldn’t be wise to think this will weigh us down,” he said.

 

13 October

75 percent of Germans expect upcoming talks between the CDU, CSU, FDP and the Greens to form a new government will be successful, according to a new Infratest dimap survey, commissioned by public broadcaster ARD. 57 percent of respondents rate such a coalition as good/very good.

Read the article in German here.

 

12 October

Merkel: 2020 climate target plays big role in upcoming coalition talks - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she does not give up the government’s goal to reduce CO₂ emissions by 40 percent by 2020, which would “play a big role” in the upcoming talks to form a new government coalition. On forming a Jamaica coalition, she said that "unusual constellations also hold the opportunity to find solutions to things that have previously appeared unsolvable."

Read the full article here.

 

11 October

Addressing a so-called ‘Jamaica coalition’ and a potential coal exit agreement, Michael Vassiliadis, head of the Trade Union for mining, chemicals and energy industries (IG BCE) said at a union conference: “There actually are fears that our people in the mining areas will have to foot the bill for the ‘Jamaica’ wedding party”. 

 

10 October

CDU & Greens' energy politicians clash over Germany's coal exit speed - One week before the start of exploratory talks on forming a government coalition, aspiring German government alliance partners CDU and the Green Party agree that the country will have to phase out coal-fired power production. Yet, two of the parties’ energy representatives argued over its speed and shape at an event in Berlin. The Greens’ Julia Verlinden says a coal exit is inevitable to reach Germany’s 2020 climate targets, whereas her CDU counterpart, Thomas Bareiß, wonders whether these emissions reduction targets can be met at all.

Read the full article here.

 

09 October

German Greens confident pro-climate government coalition possible - Leading Green politicians in Germany are optimistic an agreement to improve the country’s patchy climate record is possible in likely coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the free-market FDP. Despite major ideological differences between the three camps that could form Germany’s next government, the Greens believe the introduction of a CO2 price floor and fostering green innovation could provide common ground, while “climate chancellor” Merkel could prove an important ally to push climate policies during negotiations.

Read the full CLEW article here.

 

Exploratory talks to begin on 18 October – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her conservative bloc of CDU and CSU would begin exploratory talks on forming a Jamaica coalition on 18 October. That day, CDU/CSU would hold separate talks with the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party. “Then on Friday, 20 October we will have a first round of exploratory talks with all partners,” Merkel told a joint news conference with CSU leader Horst Seehofer on Monday. CDU and CSU have agreed on a joint compromise position on refugee policy, removing a major obstacle to pursuing talks on a coalition with other parties.

See the articles in English here and here.

 

05 October

CDU state premier “troublemaker” for Jamaica talks – Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that Armin Laschet, state premier of Germany’s industrial heartland of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) could cause trouble for coalition talks between the CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party. Laschet made clear that a future coalition agreement must not hurt the interests of his state. “There are few in the Jamaica coalition fighting for us to remain an industrial state,” he said, adding that the Greens were in mind to ban diesel engines, and that hasty changes to German energy policy would threaten “tens of thousands of jobs” in NRW. Laschet foresees “a fierce struggle” over this in the talks. “We will make some noise, if necessary,” he said.

See the article (behind paywall) in German here.

 

04 October

Majority in favour of Jamaica coalition - A new Forsa poll finds that 57 percent of Germans support a government coalition of conservatives, greens and Free Democrats. Support is highest among Green Party voters (84%), followed by FDP voters (81%) and supporters of the Christian democrats (58%).

See the article in German here.

 

02 October

Green party paves way for exploratory talks with CDU/CSU and FDP – The party leadership decided unanimously at a conference held in Berlin that they would enter talks for a so-called “Jamaica coalition” with the conservatives and Free Democrats. The Greens will demand that “ecologic progress” and “more social fairness” are part of a coalition agreement.

 

29 September

Four-way exploratory talks ahead of negotiations for a government coalition of CDU, CSU, FDP and Greens are likely to start only after the state parliamentary election in Lower Saxony on 15 October, reports Tagesschau.de, citing CDU sources. The conservative parties CDU and CSU will start two-way talks on 8 October, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Chief of the German chancellery Peter Altmaier would like to see a government formed by Christmas, but “the content is what counts, not the date,” he tells Focus Magazine.

 

28 September

All parties must compromise to prevent “dreadful” new elections, says Elmar Brok, CDU MEP, long-time Merkel ally and former head of the European Parliament’s committee on foreign affairs, in an interview with the Clean Energy Wire. “Everyone must be flexible. We’re also in favour of better climate policy, the chancellor has championed this. But everything must happen in a reasonable and balanced manner: everybody must budge and show willingness to compromise.” [Read the full interview]

Free Democratic Party (FDP) top candidate Christian Lindner says his party will strive for “a reasonable energy policy” if it is going to be part of Germany’s next government. The FDP would be “ready to talk about how this goal can be achieved. But the goal itself is non-negotiable”, Lindner tells Welt Online. He says it was “written in the stars” whether the different party positions could be reconciled in a consistent manner and in Germany’s interest. He said the FDP “will only enter a coalition if there’s a turnaround in German politics”, but would otherwise join the opposition. The FDP head argued that the Green Party needed to resolve an internal dispute between its centrist and left-leaning members before any serious coalition talks can start, adding that “I’d welcome if those Greens in favour of political realism gained the upper hand”.

Green party top candidate Cem Özdemir says that climate protection, European integration, and social justice are the topics his party will be most adamant on in a possible coalition with the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the economic liberal FDP. Özdemir tells Hamburger Abendblatt  that for the coalition talks to succeed, “everybody needs to feel like a winner”, meaning that each party has to make gains in policy areas that they deem particularly important. Özdemir said that for talks on a ‘Jamaica’ coalition, it was necessary for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU and its Bavarian sister party CSU to “resolve their internal differences” first. The Greens’ co-leader said that Germany had to phase out coal-fired power plants and focus on the production of emissions-free cars to maintain its strong position in the automotive sector, adding that the Greens were “ready to assume responsibility” in a government coalition, “but not at any price”.

 

27 September 2017

The Green Party would have the opportunity to help re-adjust Germany’s climate protection policy if it entered into a coalition with the CDU/CSU and the FDP, Renate Künast, Green Party member of the Bundestag and former agriculture minister, tells the Tagesspiegel. She calls on all parties to show flexibility. “After this election result, we have a responsibility to the whole country”, said Künast.

 

25 September 2017

Free Democratic Party (FDP) top candidate Christian Lindner comments onpossible controversies his party will have with the Greens in upcoming coalition talks:“The costs for reducing CO2 in Germany are among the highest in the world. This shows that energy and climate policy in Germany is not economically, ecologically and socially sensible and must be corrected. I don’t know whether the Greens will be prepared to do this.”

“There are different ways of decreasing CO2 emissions. In Germany the heating sector has been completely neglected. […] There are low hanging fruits which means we can save CO2 more efficiently with less money and more market-oriented instruments than by building yet another wind turbine that isn’t connected to the grid and whose energy we cannot store. This costs a lot of money but only causes the need for more use of lignite power. We are looking for reasonable ways to achieve climate targets across various sectors. This may be a small difference we have with the Green Party which is very much focused on the generation of energy.”

Green Party top candidates Cem Özdemir and Katrin Göring-Eckardt on energy and climate policy, and possible controversies with the Free Democrats (FDP)  in upcoming coalition talks:

Özdemir: “Climate change is not just any topic to us that we focus on to annoy others, it’s the existential question for life on our planet and by the way also what decides about the economic success of our country. There is no economic success without climate action.”

Göring-Eckardt: “We have to comply with the Paris Agreement. Now we’re talking about how to fulfil it. This will involve renewable energies, transport and a mobility transition and agriculture. We don’t intend to fill every last space with a wind turbine. But we will have to invest in renewable energies. We will also have to see to shaping a working power market in Germany and prevent lignite power from blocking the grid. We are currently world leaders in lignite production and converting it into electricity. The FDP always claims to be a very open and innovative party. It really surprises me that they are sticking to the fossil energy production from the last century.”

 

24 September 2017

Angela Merkel, chancellor and CDU party leader:
“We are the strongest force. We have the mandate to form a government and no government can be formed without us.”

Martin Schulz, SPD party leader and chancellor candidate:
In an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF, Schulz was asked if he definitely ruled out that the SPD would enter another grand coalition. “Yes. It is absolutely clear that the mandate given to us by the voters is the opposition.”

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, top candidate of the Green Party:
“Our voters expect us to make the climate a key priority. […] In ecologic questions, many things separate us [from the Free Democratic Party, editor’s note].”

Christian Lindner, top candidate of the Free Democratic Party (FDP):
“Of course the FDP stands behind the climate targets of Paris. What separates us from the Greens is their ideological and subsidy-driven energy policy. We want a market oriented model.”

Regarding a possible coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU and the Green Party, Lindner said: “We will not be pushed into such a government. We are looking at many open questions. A Jamaica coalition will be difficult. We have priorities, such as education and faster digitalisation. We need a reasonable energy policy and immigration policy. There is common ground but also distances between us and the CDU and the Greens.”

Cem Özdemir, top candidate of the Green Party:
"The issues will determine the coalition possibilities. We will not enter in any coalition without a clear priority for climate protection, without a strong Europe and without society solidarity. That, in a nutshell, is what it’s going to be about.”

“This is not just any topic that we make up. It is THE existential question – climate change. We see these storms – You know, I have two kids and I have a responsibility for them. And I can only take on responsibility in this country, if the next government is one that finally starts to reduce CO₂ emissions. […] One day, we’ll have to take stock and account for what we have done against climate change. We [the Greens] have good plans, we are prepared. On this basis we will talk with the other parties.”

Winfried Kretschmann, Green state premier in Baden-Württemberg:
On a possible "Jamaica" coalition of the Greens with Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Free Democrats (FDP): "If we are offered talks, we will participate in earnest [...] Every coalition means that compromises are necessary [...] Climate change is a very important issue to us [...] Some things are especially important to us, for example a quick exit from coal. These things have to be discussed in detail once we get there."

Jürgen Trittin, Green Party MP, former environment minister; led the coalition talks for the Greens in 2013:
“We have a decent result […] But we know it will be a difficult process. If Angela Merkel approaches us, we will talk with her about a coalition. But there are  three conditions: The CDU must become more ecologic, the Liberal Democrats must become more social and the CSU has to get more liberal.”

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