29 Jul 2019, 13:43
Freja Eriksen

Right-wing AfD continues to reject man-made climate change in environmental position paper

Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel Online

German right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has presented an declaration on its environmental policy agenda stating that the influence of CO2 on global temperatures cannot be proven and carbon emissions reduction measures thus do nothing to protect the climate. At the presentation of the paper, environmental spokesperson of the AfD parliamentary group Karsten Hilse said the party does "not think that humans decisively influence the climate with their CO2 emissions", and also "categorically rejects" the idea of a tax on CO2 emissions, which would only mean German citizens are "pillaged". The declaration also expresses opposition to wind and solar power in Germany as they damage the country’s cultural landscapes and “native forests”, reports Susanne Götze in Spiegel Online. “We produce honest environmental protection, in contrast to the Greens [Green Party],” said Hilse. According to historian Nils Franke, guest lecturer at the University of Leipzig, the AfD paper is "deeply populist, nationalist and bears the traits of right-wing nature conservation ideologies," he told Spiegel.

The party presented its new declaration a month before regional elections in the eastern German states of Brandenburg and Saxony, in which climate and energy policy is set to play an important role. Still very dependent on coal mining and power production, the eastern German states will be strongly affected by the country’s decision to phase out the fossil fuel. The AfD has been seen to exploit anti-government sentiments to discredit the fossil fuel phase-out and the expansion of renewables by calling them "imposed ordeals". Currently, the AfD holds seats in all state parliaments as well as Germany’s federal parliament.

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