German Left Party puts climate and fair transition at heart of election programme
The German Left Party (Die Linke) puts climate protection at the heart of its federal election campaign, Katharina Schuler writes in ZEIT Online . "For social security, peace and climate justice” is the title of the draft election programme that was presented by party leaders Bernd Riexinger and Katja Kipping on 8 February. The party, which is the first to present a draft programme in the federal election year, announced the goal of reaching a zero-emissions economy by 2040. To achieve this, the party wants to introduce a transformation fund worth 20 billion euros per year to support companies in the ecological transformation, while at the same time securing jobs in particularly affected sectors, such as the automotive industry. Die Linke also wants to expand public transport and gradually make it free of charge, which would require investments of 38 billion euros a year and create 200,000 jobs in the sector, the party writes.
Aside from climate action, the party aims to strengthen the welfare state, for example by raising the minimum wage to 13 euros per hour and the minimum pension to 1,200 euros per month. In terms of foreign policy, the Left Party rejects foreign deployments of the national army and demands the dissolution of NATO. These positions could be stumbling blocks in a possible coalition with the Green Party and the Social Democrats (SPD), Schuler writes.
Germany is set to elect a new government on 26 September. After 16 years at the helm of Europe's largest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel will hand over power to a successor, who will shape the country's energy and climate policies in the first half of a decade viewed as crucial for international emissions reduction efforts. The Social Democrats, currently in a coalition with Merkel's CDU, also want to put sustainability at the heart of their election campaign, the party announced during a meeting on 7 and 8 February. According to recent polls, the Left Party currently has 7.5 percent of voters' support them in the federal elections, trailing behind the SPD (16%), the Green Party (20%) and the Christian Democrats (CDU, 37%).