News Digest Item
07 Dec 2016

Slower coal exit as antidote for right-wing populism


The joint effort of Germany’s coal mining states against enshrining a definitive date for ending coal-fired power production may help curb support for the right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), writes Jens Tartler in Tagesspiegel. Politicians in the affected states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Saxony professed to be concerned with securing Germany’s power supply – but in reality are concerned “primarily with the workers in coal-mining areas, who also are voters”, Tartler argues. If people in these areas were given a date for coal exit without a plan for restructuring their regions economically, “you might as well send them to the AfD right away”, according to Hubertus Heil, vice chairman of the Social Democrats’ parliamentary group. The coal states ensured that the ministry for the economy and not for the environment will now handle the regions’ transition – “and that it will start its work only after the 2017 general elections”,Tartler writes.

Read more on regional peculiarities of energy transition in the CLEW factsheet German federalism: In 16 states of mind over the Energiewende.

For background on the development of Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050, read this CLEW factsheet.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee