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17 Aug 2021, 13:33
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy transition's social impact should feature more in German election campaigns – trade union

dpa / Zeit Online

Climate change and the energy transition should play a much greater role in Germany's election campaign, Reiner Hoffmann, head of trade union association DGB, has said in an article by news agency dpa carried by newspaper Zeit Online. "The next government needs to demonstrate how the energy transition can be put into practice without causing social distortions," Hoffmann said, arguing that financial support and job security should be key pillars for the country's strategy to achieve climate neutrality before the middle of the century. People generally would not have to be afraid of the transition, the DGB head said, as technological solutions could help to establish new business models that create jobs within the country. However, Hoffmann said German carmakers had already missed out on an opportunity to take the lead in electric mobility, citing the example of the city of Wuppertal. A waste incineration plant in the western German city is producing hydrogen for buses in public transport, while the buses themselves are made in Poland and Belgium. "This is a pathetic display for the German industry," Hoffmann said, adding that carmakers in the country had bet on diesel engines far too long.

The energy transition and climate change already are among the most important topics for many voters ahead of the elections on 26 September and the topic takes up a lot of room in most parties' election campaigns. Social distortions associated with the energy transition include the economic restructuring of coal regions, potential job losses due to the shift from combustion engines to electric propulsion systems, or higher energy costs for households due to carbon pricing.

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