18 Nov 2019, 13:29
Julian Wettengel

Green Party dares too little for fear of losing poll tailwind – opinion


Germany's opposition Green Party has dared too little in their decisions at the party's national conference for fear of losing the voter support currently evident in the polls, writes Sandra Schulz in an opinion piece in Deutschlandfunk. Climate action was at the core of the party's programme and a true worry, Schulz notes. However, "what seems to be even greater is the fear that the tailwind might suddenly be over [and] that the stable polls will not be turned into votes at the federal election”. At the conference, the party called for a much higher and earlier CO₂ price than planned by the German government, Deutschlandfunk reports in a separate article. Delegates approved a resolution that called for 60 euros per tonne of CO₂ from fossil transport fuels, heating oil and natural gas in 2020, which would then gradually increase in steps of 20 euros per year, with all revenues given back to citizens to guarantee social fairness. The party also reiterated its call to phase out coal by 2030 and prohibit new registrations of combustion engine cars by that same year. Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock were re-elected as party heads.

The Green Party was in coalition negotiations with Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) after the last election, but the talks proved unsuccessful after the FDP pulled out. The Greens surged in the 2019 EU elections amid concerns over the global climate crisis. In past national elections, the Green Party has often polled higher than the final results.

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