State must ensure more climate-friendly Lufthansa future after bailout – opinion
Tagesschau / Frankfurter Rundschau
Shareholders of Germany's Lufthansa have accepted the conditions of a multi-billion euro bailout which gives the government a stake in the company and – according to German commentators – also the responsibility to ensure a more climate-friendly future of the airline. In the best of all scenarios, Lufthansa could become a model case for a new way of economic activity in a world that deals not only with pandemics, but also the “much more threatening and complex issue of climate change”, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. While the initial phase is about stabilising the company, the second phase and “real interesting question” is how to reconcile Lufthansa with climate action, he writes. “There, it is about projects which have to get underway soon” and the government has to become more involved than has been the case in other cases of state participation in the past, such as pushing CO₂-free fuels.
Markus Gürne also writes in a commentary for public broadcaster news programme Tagesschau that future ownership by the German state entails responsibility. “This means putting pressure on Lufthansa to become not only a successful, but above all an exemplary company for employees and for climate action.”
Lufthansa’s business was heavily impacted by the coronavirus crisis. The government rescue package had attracted criticism for its lack of concrete sustainability criteria. Despite pressure to link economic aid to environmental conditions, the deal contains no climate guarantees other than Lufthansa being “committed to pursuing sustainability goals”.