Right-wing AfD plans “eco-strategy” to build on opposition to energy transition
Germany’s right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) wants to appeal to people who dislike consequences of climate policy and the energy transition measures such as wind farms with its own environmental policy agenda, Maria Fiedler writes in Tagesspiegel. The party, which denies that human activity is responsible for climate change, wants to shift into “attack mode” rather than only reacting to the Green Party, Fiedler quotes AfD environmental spokesperson Karsten Hilse as saying. The party wants to focus on “the contradiction of the Greens’ policies and on the “love of nature”, Fiedler quotes AfD parliamentarian Peter Felser. The AfD’s push follows a tradition in Germany to make nature protection part of a nationalist conservative agenda, Fiedler writes.
The AfD, which holds seats in all state parliaments as well as the federal parliament Bundestag and polls at around 12 percent in national surveys, has made the denial of the science consensus of man-made climate change and a firm anti-Energiewende stance part of its platform. The fear of a public backlash against climate policy measures has shaped the debates about government’s measures to achieve 2030 goals and climate neutrality by 2050, as well as the planned coal exit. The wind power industry, one of the pillars of the Energiewende so far, also faces increasing opposition to new projects. Conflicts between individual energy transition measures and local environmental concerns have long presented a quandary for Germany’s environmental organisations.