Departure of key conservative energy MP could give “new momentum” to renewables talks – SPD
Following the departure of a second MP from a key energy policy position in Germany’s government coalition negotiations, chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives must choose replacements, reports tageszeitung (taz). CDU lawmaker Joachim Pfeiffer had given up his position as the CDU/CSU parliamentary group’s energy spokesperson and announced he would not run again in the September elections after accusations that his consulting firms could constitute a conflict of interest. This could give “new momentum” to negotiations about renewables expansion, Matthias Miersch, deputy head of the Social Democratic (SPD) parliamentary group, told taz. The SPD had put the talks on hold because of allegations against Pfeiffer and the CSU's energy politician Georg Nüßlein – both instrumental in the talks and both seen as critical of ambitious renewables expansion and other aspects of the energy transition, writes taz. "After the withdrawal of Joachim Pfeiffer, I hope for a new dynamic in our negotiations,” said Miersch. The conservatives have not yet decided on replacements, writes taz.
After the SPD had put talks on hold, the German parliament let a deadline for implementing higher renewable energy capacity targets pass, prompting both energy industry stakeholders and climate activists to criticise the loss of precious time in increasing the speed of the country’s renewables expansion. Miersch told taz that the SPD and the conservatives still diverged on several issues, but that finding an agreement before parliament’s summer break is possible.