Environment minister says German government coalition hinges on climate action
The German government coalition "cannot continue" if it is not prepared to clarify how Germany will achieve its climate targets by 2030, German environment minister Svenja Schulze told Der Tagesspiegel, thus joining recent statements from her Social Democratic Party (SPD) colleagues, finance minister Olaf Scholz and state secretary in the environment ministry Jochen Flasbarth. "The credibility of this government is at stake," said Schulze, arguing that if Germany as an industrial nation could not show others that it is possible to reach the country's 2030 targets, one could not expect other countries to follow suit. Schulze stressed that climate action must finally become binding and that the government should be obliged to take new measures if sectors are falling behind targets. She also proposed the creation of an annual progress review.
Several SPD politicians have said they would make climate policy a key issue in the decision on whether to continue in the German government coalition with the CDU and CSU. Most recently, Scholz, a top candidate to become the SPD's new leader, commented that, "we need a big coup in climate policy if we, as a government, want to continue to have the right to lead the country”. The government's climate cabinet is set to make key climate action decisions on 20 September.