Northeastern German state aims for climate neutrality 2040 under new SPD-led govt
Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel Online
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has reelected Manuela Schwesig as premier of the northeastern coastal state, which is aiming for climate neutrality by 2040. A member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), Schwesig is heading a government coalition with the Left Party following a coalition of 15 years with the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The sparsely populated state that relies heavily on tourism is expected to play a significant role in the implementation of the next federal government’s energy transition policies and the new government looks set to putt climate and environmental protection at the top of its agenda. Located along the Baltic Sea, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is a key energy transition state which already produces more than 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, particularly from wind power. The new government coalition agreement aims to make the state climate neutral by 2040 and, at least at an administrative level, by 2030. It also supports making agriculture in the state more nature friendly. In an effort to improve the state’s climate balance, the new government plans to plant five million trees. In addition to developing and implementing a climate protection law, the new government’s plans also include the expansion of renewable energy sources, protection measures for its moorlands and Baltic Sea coastal regions, the expansion of forests and the increase of humus in the soil.
New and old state premier Schwesig has secured a sweeping victory for the SPD in the state, backing a trend that also helped the Social Democrats become the largest party in the national parliament to the surprise of many observers in September's elections. Besides a clear commitment to more renewable power sources, Schwesig's energy policy has also been characterised by her resolute campaigning for the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which is supposed to supplement the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline to transport the fossil fuel from Russia to Germany and makes landfall in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.