New German govt sworn in, faced with climate 'project of immense proportions'
Clean Energy Wire
Two and a half months after the general elections, Germany officially has a new government. Olaf Scholz was elected chancellor by parliament with 395 out of 707 votes, making him the fourth Social Democrat (SPD) politician to become head of a German government since 1950. Afterwards, Scholz and his new cabinet received their appointment certificates from president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, marking the official end to 16 years of Angela Merkel’s leadership. Steinmeier said that the new government had taken on a project of “immense proportions” by focusing on climate action, a faster energy transition and a transition to a climate neutral economy.
The new government is formed by a three-party coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) and due to their party colours known as the “traffic light” coalition. The parties’ coalition agreement has a strong focus on energy and climate issues, including an earlier phase-out of coal power and increased targets for renewables and e-cars. This and the creation of a new super-ministry for economy and climate headed by a Green Party politician, has the renewables industry and climate NGOs and activists hoping to see unprecedented changes to the country’s climate policies and emission cuts in all sectors.
Scholz will make his first international appearance on 10 December, when he visits French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, traditionally the first journey taken by a new chancellor, as well as the European Commission and Nato headquarters in Brussels.