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21 Jun 2021, 12:30
Edgar Meza

Left Party agrees most ambitious climate targets of all major parties in election manifesto

tageszeitung (taz)

Germany’s Left Party has agreed the most radical election programme yet in terms of climate protection goals and demands at its party convention on 19-20 June. Climate is the key issue of this year’s federal election, set to take place on 26 September, Bernhard Pötter writes in taz. Other leading parties are also demanding tougher and faster measures to reduce CO2 and the ruling conservative-Social Democrat coalition recently tightened its own Climate Action Law, moving forward the climate neutrality target by five years to 2045. The Left, however, has now raised the stakes with its goal of making Germany climate-neutral by 2035 and complete the coal exit by 2030. At the same time, the party is fighting for its political survival and it is uncertain whether the lofty plans could even be achieved, Pötter notes. Stressing the need for a “socially just climate transition”, the Left plans major investment programmes, massive debt and far-reaching government intervention, Pötter writes. Breaking with the other major parties, the Left rejects higher CO2 prices in the transport and building sectors. "This is ineffective in terms of climate policy and anti-social," Lorenz Gösta Beutin, the Left’s climate expert, told taz.

Many of the party’s ideas are similar to those of the Fridays for Future climate protection movement, which also demands a net zero carbon goal by 2035. The Left Party calls for an annual increase in renewables of 7 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind, 2 GW offshore wind and at least 10 GW of solar power – two to four times as much as was installed in 2020. It would also ban internal combustion engines for cars after 2030. In addition, the party aims to renovate 4 percent of buildings every year instead of the current rate of less than 2 percent, and calls for solar systems to be installed on all new buildings. It would also introduce laws making “ecocide", or environmental destruction, punishable and climate protection a national goal.

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