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11 Feb 2021, 13:31
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germany needs higher CO2 price and new climate adaptation strategy – CSU leader

Die Zeit

Germany needs more consistent and ambitious climate policies, including a higher CO2 price, Markus Söder, leader of the conservative CSU party and Bavaria’s state premier, told Marc Brost in an interview with Die Zeit. Alongside the corona crisis, tackling climate change is a main priority for the politician. "We need to talk differently about climate change and act more decisively," he said. Germany needs a higher CO2 price, determined by supply and demand, which would allow energy taxes to be reduced significantly, he said. “In this way, we will achieve better control, reduce CO2-emissions and also ease the burden on the economy,” he told Die Zeit. Söder emphasised that climate change will “hit Germany harder than most people think” and that the country needs new strategies to adapt to the consequences of the changing climate, such as lower groundwater levels and less rain, which affect agriculture in particular.

The CSU politician, who is a possible candidate to succeed fellow conservative Angela Merkel (CDU) as chancellor, said he was open to a coalition between the CDU/CSU and the Green Party following this year’s federal elections. However, he said the Green Party’s programme “in its pure form” was not suitable for a coalition, and noted that the Greens were “under pressure from the radical climate movement.” Although a majority of Germans would be sympathetic to a Black-Green (CDU/CSU-Greens) government, green policies could also be pursued without the Greens, Söder said.

According to polls, Söder is currently the public’s favourite to follow Merkel as chancellor. But it is still uncertain whether he will run as a candidate for the conservative alliance, as Armin Laschet, the new leader of the much bigger CDU, which operates in every state except Bavaria, might claim the candidacy for himself. A coalition between the Greens and the CDU/CSU alliance has been the favoured government option of a majority of respondents in polls. 

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