Government must come clean on climate action costs – opinion
Germany’s federal government “should finally come clean” and tell citizens that climate action on the required scale is impossible without higher costs, writes Markus Balser in an opinion piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Instead of talking down the consequences of more climate action for the public as has been the case to date, the German government should finally create clarity,” he writes. “It must decide and explain how much burden it wants to impose on people in the climate-friendly transformation of mobility and heating - and how to create social justice for all those who cannot afford it.”
Since the start of its tenure in 2018, the federal government coalition of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) has been struggling to agree measures to bring the country back on track towards reaching the international climate targets. It plans to decide concrete policy on how to reach the 2030 climate goals by the end of 2019. The planned coal exit or instruments like CO₂ pricing are bound to affect some more than others, and policymakers are still reluctant to implement these over fears they might lead to backlashes akin to the “yellow vest” protests in France, or at least to the alienation of the governing parties’ traditional voter groups. Several eastern German coal mining states will hold regional elections in September and October.