Conservative climate group says Germany could reach 100% renewables by 2030 at low cost
The conservative climate group KlimaUnion (ClimateUnion), which is made up of party members of the governing CDU/CSU alliance, released a position paper in which the members argue that Germany could become the world's first industrialised country running on 100-percent renewable energy supply as early as 2030 and simultaneously reduce citizens’ expenses on transport, heating and power use. The group was founded in April with the aim to push the conservative bloc to adopt climate policy in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target. In the paper, KlimaUnion argues that Germany could save up to 63 billion euros in energy imports per year if it manages to achieve a complete transition to renewable energy, which could be turned into a "growth booster" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The group's member Wiebke Winter said the position paper should be seen as an "argumentation aid" for the conservative CDU/CSU alliance's election manifesto that offers "concrete proposals" on starting to make Germany climate neutral already during the next legislative period until 2025. "These are the years that matter," Winter said. KlimaUnion co-founder Heinrich Strößenreuther said the goal was to lure investors through deregulation and make people look forward to the financial benefits bequeathed by a comprehensive energy transition. "Hungry investors will always be quicker than the state, bans, decrees or complicated international CO2 price regimes," Strößenreuther argued, adding that the goal of limiting global warming 1.5 degrees Celsius would still be achievable "at zero cost for the taxpayer."
Spurred by unusually hot and dry weather conditions and large-scale protest led by the Fridays for Future movement, climate change has become a leading voter concern in Germany in the past years. The Green Party, which is perceived as the party that treats environmental challenges most rigorously by many voters, is polling strong in the run-up to the federal elections in September, causing concerns in the conservative camp that the CDU/CSU alliance could be overtaken as the country's most popular party. The CDU/CSU alliance has already presented its manifesto. It remains vague on climate and energy, leaving plenty of leeway for possible government coalition negotiations with competitors like the Green Party.