09 Sep 2021, 14:08
Benjamin Wehrmann

No German party election manifesto fit for 2030 climate targets – report

Clean Energy Wire

None of Germany’s major political parties has a coherent concept to ensure the country gets on track towards reaching its 2030 emissions reduction target, a report conducted by DIW ECON, commissioned by the Climate Neutrality Foundation, has found. While differences between them are significant and all parties except the far-right AfD support the Paris Climate Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, no party explains credibly how Germany should abide by its own Climate Action Law, the consulting company of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) found. “No election programme meets the law’s criteria,” the institute said. The Greens are the party with the most elaborate and viable concept, the researchers found, whereas the pro-business FDP’s approach was least convincing to the institute. While the Free Democrat’s focus on market-based carbon pricing generally was right, the FDP lacked concrete implementation ideas in individual sectors. The Left Party came in second, but “neglects the question of adequate CO2-pricing,” the DIW said. The consultancy ranks the governing parties of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) third and criticised them for their often vague and hesitant approach that is “unfit to achieve the massive emissions reduction targets in the short time remaining.” Climate change would be the next government’s defining task, said DIW researcher Claudia Kemfert. “Instead of holding ghost debates, the parties have to deliver on the concrete steps needed for successful climate action,” she said.

Parties have had little chance to bring their manifestos in line with the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, as many programmes had already been finalised by the time parliament agreed on the reform of the Climate Action Law at the end of June. As climate change has risen to the top of German voters' concerns, all parties' election manifestos contain chapters on energy and climate policy, but the level of detail varies. Germans will head to the polls on 26 September to elect a new parliament and decide who will shape the country's energy and climate policy for the coming four years. As polls indicate a tight race, negotiations to form the next government coalition could take several months.

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