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04 Feb 2020, 13:45
Freja Eriksen

Planned leftist state minority govt promises ‘Green New Deal for Thuringia’

Clean Energy Wire / MDR Thüringen

[UPDATE note: In a surprise result, Thuringia’s parliament on 5 February 2020 elected Thomas Kemmerich from the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) as new state premier, defeating the planned leftist minority government coalition.]

The Left Party, Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens in the eastern German state of Thuringia have signed a coalition agreement to form a minority government on 4 February, writes public broadcaster MDR Thüringen. Although the governing Left Party achieved its best result in a state election so far in October last year, its past coalition with the SPD and Green Party had lost the majority. The new minority government will rely on support from the pro-business FDP or conservative CDU to implement key aspects of the agreement. In their coalition agreement, the three parties promise to develop a comprehensive energy concept for the energy transition as part of a “Green New Deal for Thuringia”, with its main focus on energy efficiency and decentralised and renewable energy generation. A state programme is to provide more areas for PV solar panels and solar thermal energy, while wind energy is also to be expanded. "The goal is a 100 percent supply from renewable energies by 2040 at the latest, with a mix of solar and wind energy, biomass and hydropower, and a climate-neutral state administration by 2030," they write. The parliament is set to elect the state premier on 5 February to decide. Current head of government Bodo Ramelow of the Left Party is expected to be re-elected in a third round of voting when a simple majority is sufficient, writes MDR Thüringen.

October 2019's state election in Thuringia dealt another blow to the Green Party's aspiration to become a leading political force across Germany, with the environmentalist party faring worse in three recent elections in eastern German states than in national polls. The heavy losses for the parties of Chancellor Angela Merkel's government coalition, the conservative CDU and the Social Democrats (SPD) also cast a shadow over the future of Germany's federal coalition government. The right-wing AfD made significant gains to become the state's second biggest party.

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