09 Jan 2024, 13:41
Edgar Meza

Former German Left Party MP launches new party, takes aim at energy policies

Clean Energy Wire / Süddeutsche Zeitung / Die Welt / Dlf

Former German Left Party politician Sahra Wagenknecht on 8 January officially launched her much-anticipated political party, the "Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht - Reason and Justice" (BSW). The party aims to compete in the European elections in Germany on 9 June and in three regional votes in eastern Germany in September. While the new party aims to draft its official party programme only in time for the next national election in 2025, Wagenknecht, who announced her plans in October, has made energy policy a central issue in her movement, criticising for instance the current government’s decision to turn away from cheap Russian energy supply, its controversial heating law and EU plans to ban combustion engine cars after 2035. Wagenknecht previously complained that Germany had cut itself off from cheap gas and oil through economic sanctions against Russia with no viable alternatives. She has also taken issue with what she describes as “blind, haphazard eco-activism, which makes people's lives even more expensive but actually does nothing at all for the climate”. The new party stands for a “return of reason” in politics, Wagenknecht said, quoted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Pointing to fight against climate change, Wagenknecht said it was completely nonsensical to ban combustion cars, which did little for the climate and undermines German automakers, which could have had an export hit with low-consumption engines had they been given the opportunity to further develop combustion engine technology. In July, Wagenknecht blasted Germany’s heating law in an op-ed in the Welt, describing it as “an attack on citizens' wealth and property; it is poorly thought out, poorly crafted and useless in terms of climate policy”. The BSW is expected to present its EU election program following its first party conference at the end of January.

2024 is a major election year in Germany, Europe and globally, and could pose a test to climate policymaking, as populist and far-right parties like the AfD are polling high. These have especially seized on people’s fears of change and high energy prices in the past. Meanwhile, Hans-Georg Maassen, the former president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution who has been accused of repeating anti-Semitic and racist tropes, looks set to also launch a new party, right of centre, branching out of his conservative Values Union (Werteunion) association. The Values Union backs the construction of new nuclear power plants and more research funding for nuclear fusion technology, Deutschlandfunk reports.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee