Germany's coalition government turns the tide on climate policy - media
Calls for more ambition from citizens, pressure from EU partners, the 2018 heat wave and drought and looming costs for non-compliance with greenhouse gas reduction targets have caused Germany’s grand coalition government parties to focus on climate policy, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an analysis in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The coalition is hardly recognisable” as the rhetoric had changed greatly since chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) signed their government treaty in early 2018. The parties hasten to present climate action plans, Merkel heralds the end of an “easy-peasy” approach on climate policy and CSU head Markus Söder aims to spearhead the movement, writes Bauchmüller. The coalition now has to “seriously deliver” at the climate cabinet meeting on 20 September, climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), told Süddeutsche Zeitung. Otherwise, “it shows it is no longer capable of anything”.
Merkel has promised key policy decisions in a meeting of the so-called climate cabinet on 20 September. By the end of the year, the government aims to present a comprehensive climate action law package that ensures Germany reaches its 2030 climate targets. The coalition, however, is becoming increasingly fragile as election losses have shown that ever more voters are turning away from the established forces in the political centre, with the pro-climate action Green Party biting into traditional voter camps of both the SPD and the CDU/CSU.