26 Feb 2019, 14:28
Rachel Waldholz

As US ponders a Green New Deal, commentators debate what lessons to learn from Germany

The Hill / Bloomberg Opinion

Opinion writers are invoking Germany’s Energiewende in their arguments over US proposals for a Green New Deal (GND). Germany’s experience proves the Green New Deal would be a flop, conservative columnist Liz Peek argues in an op-ed for US political site The Hill. Despite spending billions on green infrastructure, Germany is failing to meet its own climate goals while driving up energy costs, Peek writes. “Maybe the Energiewende’s shortcomings will give advocates for the GND pause,” she writes.

Writing for Bloomberg Opinion, Leonid Bershidsky, on the other hand, cautions not to use Germany as an argument against the Green New Deal. Germany has remained one of the world’s most competitive economies even as it switches to renewables. Higher energy prices “have been more of a blessing than a curse,” he argues, transforming Germany into an energy-efficient economy. And while Germany is failing to meet its renewable goals, that’s largely because it is simultaneously phasing out nuclear power, and so growing renewable capacity has displaced nuclear instead of coal plants.

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