13 Apr 2021, 12:32
Edgar Meza Julian Wettengel

German Left Party outflanks Greens on climate action - Tagesspiegel Background

Tagesspiegel Background

[UPDATE adds draft programme key content]

The German Left Party (Die Linke) looks set to out-green the Green Party as it enters this year’s federal elections with what could be the most ambitious climate protection policies of any party in the Bundestag, Tagesspiegel Background reports. In the latest draft of its party platform presented on Monday (12 April), the Left has significantly sharpened environmental demands. "We want the Federal Republic of Germany to be climate-neutral by 2035 at the latest," the party now says, after initially aiming for 2040 in a first draft in February. The Left is also calling for climate neutrality in Europe by 2035. The Green Party, by contrast, stated in its recently published party platform that it wanted to achieve climate neutrality “well before 2050.”

In addition, the Left is calling for a 70 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels – a move that would put Germany on par with Denmark, which last year made that target part of its climate law. To that end, the party is striving for an energy supply of 100 percent renewables by 2035, and 80 percent by 2030. It is also calling for a coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest, rather than the legally set deadline of 2038, and for the import of hydrogen to be restricted to only the green variety. The party likewise aims to cement climate protection in the German constitution, declaring it a “national goal.”

The Left made it clear in February, when it presented the first draft of its party programme, that climate protection would be a central plank in its platform ahead of this year’s federal election, scheduled for 26 September.


Draft programme key content

Climate policy & targets:

  • climate neutrality 2035
  • 2030 target: -70%
  • climate action as basic right & "national objective"
  • calls for global climate justice

EU policy:

  • EU climate neutrality by 2035
  • coal exit by 2030
  • just transition fund increase
  • ETS reform to align w/ Paris goals
  • no ETS extension to heating/transport
  • EU budget increase through bonds; use for solidarity and ecological "projects for the future"

Energy taxes & levies:

  • opposes emissions trading as key climate action instrument
  • aims to largely finance renewables expansion via federal budget, not EEG surcharge
  • wants to lower electricity tax for private consumers
  • wants uniform grid fees across Germany

Renewables expansion:

  • targets: 80% renewable power by 2030, 100% by 2035
  • nearby municipalities must receive share in revenues of renewables facilities
  • aims to expand citizens' energy

Fossil fuels:

Hydrogen & industry:

  • climate neutral industry by 2035
  • €20bln/yr industry transformation fund
  • make industry more regional, crisis-resistant, export independent
  • use only green hydrogen
  • use hydrogen only where no more efficient alternatives
  • import hydrogen only from countries which don't need the renewable power for themselves

Finance & budget:

  • wants "social-ecological investment campaign" (renewables, mobility, climate-neutral infrastructure)
  • state support programmes for the transition, incl. emergency programme
  • no state money for fossils/nuclear energy
  • ECB must make available loan programmes to enable climate-neutral economy by 2035


  • no new combustion engine cars by 2030
  • long-term: free public transport
  • create 200,000 additional jobs in public transport
  • shared mobility stations in rural areas
  • car-free city centres
  • European night train network
  • stop Autobahn expansion
  • speed limit 120 km/h on Autobahn
  • ban flights where train ride is under 5 hrs/500km


  • energy-efficient modernisation of complete old building stock by 2035
  • disempower big energy companies, push citizens' energy
  • global nuclear power exit
  • eco-scrapping premium for household appliances
  • expand organic farming
  • bind EU farming subsidies to environmental criteria
  • resource-use levy for raw materials & disposable products
  • social & climate-friendly supply chain law


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