04 Aug 2021, 12:27
Julian Wettengel

Greens’ climate programme “tactically clever but dishonest” – media commentators

Süddeutsche Zeitung / Handelsblatt / Zeit / FAZ

German media commentators have taken a closer look at the Green Party’s climate action emergency programme for the first 100 days of government – should they become part of a ruling coalition after the election on 26 September.

Climate action is “the straw that the Greens grasped at” after the flood disaster to put issues front and centre of the election campaign, following several setbacks surrounding chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The emergency programme contains much of what the election manifesto already stipulates, “but often more uncompromising”, he writes.

The Greens’ climate programme is “tactically clever but dishonest”, writes Klaus Stratmann in business daily Handelsblatt. The Greens are “clever enough” to remain vague on key questions such as what happens with the CO2 price on transport and heating fuels beyond 2023. He adds that the party “overshoots the mark” when introducing a veto power for a climate ministry. “The construction raises the question of how other concerns of constitutional rank stand,” he writes.

The Green Party is back in “attack mode” with its programme, writes Katharina Schuler in Zeit. While the party had held back with demands for more climate action following the recent devastating floods in parts of Germany for fear of being accused of exploiting the situation, the climate programme is the “climax of their new attack”. However, the proposal lacks key contentious issues such as whether to ban short-trip flights or combustion engine cars, showing that the Greens also want to leave the door open for future government coalition talks with the conservatives. It remains to be seen how much of the programme could be implemented in a future coalition, she writes.

Other parties share the general direction of demands made in the emergency programme, but the Greens go a step further, writes Jasper von Altenbockum in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). However, “how the Greens want to compensate for the loss of entire industries; how they want to bridge "dark periods" (with "green" hydrogen this will not happen any time soon); how they want to accelerate what could not be moved with Green government participation in the states; how the German climate leader wants to convert the climate laggards all over the world – all this is neither clear in the emergency nor in the election programme,” he writes.

If they are part of a future government, the German Greens want to install a climate ministry that has the right to veto other ministries’ plans in case they are not compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement, party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck announced during a press conference this week. The climate ministry is to lead a "climate task force", which would convene weekly in a federal government meeting and steer policy towards the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5-degrees Celsius. The instalment of such a ministry is part of the Greens’ ten-point plan of immediate climate measures for the first 100 days of government.

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