Left Party leaders bet on fair and climate-friendly recovery in campaign year kick-off
Clean Energy Wire / Der Spiegel
The leaders of the Left Party have called for a socially fair and climate-friendly coronavirus recovery as the centrepiece of the German government’s policy in election year 2021. In a paper released to kick-off the year, the party says 2021 must become “the year of change.” “In the next 15 years, we must achieve the transformation to a CO2-free, energy- and resource-saving economy and infrastructure in order to reach the 1.5 degrees Celsius target,” says the paper. It proposes a “Left Green New Deal,” including a mobility transition with a stronger focus on public transport and an annual 20-billion-euro fund to help the transition in industry, “especially in the car supply sector.” The Left Party also calls for CO₂-neutral industry production by 2035.
The rise of the Greens creates a dilemma for the Left Party, as it is both a desired coalition partner and a close competitor in this year’s election campaign, writes Kevin Hagen for Spiegel. The Left Party leaders’ paper is an offer to the Green Party to form a future coalition, and at the same time it is also a challenge in the battle for votes in the election itself, he writes. At the Left Party’s annual kick-off convention, party head Katja Kipping said: “The social-ecological transition is only possible with us, with a strong left. All those who bet on black [party colour of the conservative CDU] can actually kick their green election programme into the bin right now.”
In autumn 2021, Germany will head to the ballots to elect a new federal parliament. Since the previous election on 24 September 2017, climate and energy have consistently moved up among voter priorities. A string of hot, dry summers that took a toll on the country's environment have contributed to massive climate protests led by the Fridays for Future movement, which put emissions reduction efforts at the heart of public debate.