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10 May 2021, 14:29
Edgar Meza

German Social Democrats adopt new climate targets at party conference

Zeit Online / Reuters

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has adopted stricter climate targets as part of its federal election platform. The SPD, part of Germany’s ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance, agreed to the goal of making Germany climate-neutral by 2045 at the latest, Zeit Online reported. A majority of party members rejected a call to adopt a 2040 climate-neutral target, however, according to a Reuters report carried by Investing.com. The SPD also agreed to support a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 of 65 percent compared to 1990 levels. SPD environment minister Svenja Schulze and the party's chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz have been a driving force behind an amendment of the Climate Action Law which pursues the same goals as set out by the party conference.

The party also does not rule out a coal phase-out before the established target year of 2038. In addition, the party platform emphasises that climate protection measures must be socially compatible and should also promote the economy. Making Germany climate-neutral could become a job engine, according to the SPD. It should "not be those who have the least impact on their carbon footprint who lose out”. The party programme also calls for structural aid for "mining regions, but also beyond". Reliable support in the creation of new added value and sustainable jobs has top priority, it adds.

SPD leaders also attacked the CDU, CSU and Green Party for what they see as deficiencies in their climate policies. Member of parliament Matthias Miersch blasted Bavarian Premier Markus Söder (CSU) for his efforts to block the expansion of wind farms and similarly criticised the Green-CDU coalition in Baden-Württemberg for what he described as its poor score on renewable energy expansion.

Germany will head to the ballot boxes on 26 September to elect a new federal parliament and government. The Green Party has been leading national polls in recent days, surpassing the conservative CDU/CSU bloc and being trailed in third place by the SPD.

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