27 Jun 2023, 12:07
Julian Wettengel

Incoming govt coalition in city state Bremen bets on green hydrogen

Clean Energy Wire

The prospective future government coalition of Germany’s smallest state, the City of Bremen, is betting on green hydrogen and its derivates to decarbonise local industries, such as steel and shipping. In their draft coalition agreement, the Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party and the Left Party, which also governed the state for the past four years, commit to the existing target of making Bremen climate neutral by 2038. The coalition agreement, which must still be approved by the parties, emphasises education and labour policy, but also climate action. “We want to shape the transformation productively,” said likely future mayor Andreas Bovenschulte. “However, we know that we have to do this safely, ecologically and socially so as to not overburden anyone.” Among other things, the future government wants to:

  • support the switch to hydrogen in steel production through financial support, faster permitting and a push for the construction of the extra-high voltage power line as well as the connection of the steel mills to the Northern European hydrogen pipeline network
  • create framework to enable the use of carbon capture and storage or use (CCS, CCU) “unavoidable residual emissions” especially from burning waste and in industry
  • make plans for “energy port” in Bremerhaven a priority; realise green methanol project MarSynFuel for climate neutral shipping
  • present municipal heating concept by 2025
  • invest 2.5 billion euros in the energy-efficient refurbishment of the public building stock, the transformation of transport and heating, and the climate transformation of the economy, as agreed ahead of the election
  • introduce a 29-euro version of the German-wide public transport ticket (currently 49 euros per month) for people receiving social assistance
  • climate change adaptation: make Bremen a “sponge city” which can store a lot of water during heavy rainfall, and later provide it during drought periods; prepare dykes and barrages for the climate crisis; present a “heat action plan”

The SPD emerged as the clear winner of the election in May, while the Green Party suffered its worst result in the city state in almost 25 years. With some 570,000 inhabitants, the city state is the smallest of Germany's 16 Länder. However,its seats in Germany's council of states, the Bundesrat, gives the northern coastal state some influence to directly influence national legislation. 

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