25 Aug 2023, 13:30
Carolina Kyllmann

German govt neglects biodiversity due to internal disputes and crisis management – env association

Clean Energy Wire

Internal spats and external crises have caused the German government coalition partners to neglect tackling the biodiversity crisis, environmental association NABU has said. “Either the traffic light partners [coalition's nickname based on party colours] get their act together and overcome their respective ideological hurdles, or the discontent from which democracy is attacked with populism and false news will continue to be nurtured,” NABU head Jörg-Andreas Krüger said. Halfway through its legislative period, the ‘traffic light’ coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had not prioritised ‘urgently needed’ climate and biodiversity protection, according to the NGO. “The urgently needed protection of natural diversity has so far not been the focus of the quarrelsome coalition partners,” NABU wrote, referring to past and present public fights ranging from the limited runtime extension of Germany's nuclear power plants and reforms in climate and environmental protection, to the phase out of fossil fuel heating systems.

The climate protection measures introduced by the government, while important, were still not enough, the group criticised. “For the sake of future generations, it is now a matter of shaping effective and future-proof policies,” Krüger said. “If the traffic lights do not succeed in addressing these changes, the transformation of the economy will also continue to lose credibility - along with the threat of loss of prosperity and an accelerating division of society,” he added.

Germany’s government is facing increasing public discontent over its switch from two years of energy crisis management to controversial climate policies and has been grappling with a string of internal disputes related to the issue. The situation was exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine and the energy crisis setting in shortly after the three party-coalition formed a new government in late 2021. Challenges related to the energy crisis and the lost access to cheap Russian fossil fuels, inflation, and costs related to the energy transition – such as the switch to more climate-friendly processes – all weigh on Germany’s prized heavy industry as the country battles with one of its most difficult economic situations in the past two decades.

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