Kramp-Karrenbauer sets herself apart from other CDU leadership candidates on climate action
Clean Energy Wire
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a candidate to succeed her at the helm of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has warned that Germany must not lag behind on fulfilling its own climate goals. “We have only one climate on this planet. Germany alone cannot save it,” she said at one of eight regional conferences at which the candidates with a realistic chance of winning present their policy views to party members. “But I warn that we must not start a debate now along the lines of ‘let the others save it’. What is an emerging or developing country supposed to think when we demand of it to adhere to the [Paris] climate agreement, while we as a strong and rich industrial nation say we can’t do it at home. I do not believe this would do justice to the leadership role of Europe and Germany in the world.” The comment set her apart from the two other contestants, Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn. Spahn said that Germany exiting diesel, coal, and nuclear energy “does not solve the actual global CO₂ issues,” as the country was responsible for only a small part of global emissions. “We carry out our measures, save nothing with them, and endanger thousands of jobs here in North-Rhine Westphalia as well as in Lusatia and in central Germany,” said Spahn. In cooperation with other countries, one could do more with every euro invested. All three candidates emphasised the need to protect jobs and workers’ families. On Germany’s coal exit, Merz said “it’s not so easy to tell the affected people that ‘we’ll just exit now’; we have a responsibility for the jobs in the regions.” He said the responsibility for climate protection has to be reconciled with the responsibility for families and jobs. Germany also needed “reliable alternatives” to guarantee supply security for industrial plants.
Watch the video in German here.
For background, read CLEW’s collection of climate and energy policy views of Kramp-Karrenbauer, Spahn and Merz.