03 May 2021, 12:52
Edgar Meza

New German state governments agree to focus on climate - media reports

Frankfurter Allgemeine / SWR / ARD

The new coalition governments in the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg are set to commit to ambitious climate protection plans following the elections in March, according to media reports. Rhineland-Palatinate has set the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040, Julian Staib writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine. The newly formed government will continue the so-called “traffic light coalition” of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens led by Premier Malu Dreyer (SPD). Their new coalition agreement aims to make the state climate-neutral between 2035 and 2040. To that end, the government intends to double the state’s wind power capacity and triple that of solar. Furthermore, solar arrays will be mandatory for commercial buildings and parking lots with more than 50 parking spaces. By 2030, electricity in the country is to be produced entirely from renewable energy sources.

The new government also plans to introduce a 365-euro annual ticket for public transport. According to broadcaster SWR, the state's environment ministry, led by the Greens, will be known as the climate protection ministry. The coalition agreement is expected to be approved this week.

In Baden-Württemberg, the Greens remain the larger partner in a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that is likewise focusing on climate protection and local transport, public broadcaster ARD reports. The Greens, in particular, are calling for major investments in climate protection measures, including mandatory solar for new buildings and facilitated regulatory approval for wind farms, SWR adds. Climate policy played a decisive role in the states’ elections on 14 March and the issue looks set to define this year’s federal election.

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