Federal government unsettles population with climate action debate – Saxony state premier
The federal government is “frightening” the population with the debate about climate action measures such as higher prices for fossil car fuels and domestic flights, Michael Kretschmer, state premier of Saxony, told Rheinische Post in an interview. Kretschmer said the conservative CDU/CSU alliance had to stop trying to copy the Greens’ policy, and help put a definite end to the discussion about the final shutdown date for Germany’s last coal plants. Regarding proposals for a price on CO₂ emissions, the Christian Democrat said he opposes national solo runs, and warned that “commuters will pay the price. It is completely pointless to claim that the citizens all get compensation.” Paying back the revenues to citizens is part of several CO2 pricing design proposals, for example by environment minister Svenja Schulze.
Voters in the eastern German coal state of Saxony head to the polls on 1 September for regional elections, in which climate and energy policy is set to play a role. Still very dependent on coal mining and power production, Saxony will be strongly affected by the country’s decision to phase out the fossil fuel. The CDU’s main competitor in the election is the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which exploits anti-government sentiments to discredit the coal phase-out.