Vote2017: Politicians' comments on German election results

Germans have handed Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term in the country’s federal election. Most likely, Merkel will have to start talks with the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party to form a so-called "Jamaica coalition," after the Social Democrats (SPD) have ruled out entering a new grand coalition. CLEW presents quotes from key politicians on the election result.

 

25 September 2017

Christian Lindner, top candidate of the Free Democratic Party (FDP):

Speaking at a press conference on the day after the election, Lindner said about energy and climate policy and possible controversies his party will have with the Greens in upcoming coalition talks:

“The costs for reducing CO2 in Germany are among the highest in the world. This shows that energy and climate policy in Germany is not economically, ecologically and socially sensible and must be corrected. I don’t know whether the Greens will be prepared to do this.”

“There are different ways of decreasing CO2 emissions. In Germany the heating sector has been completely neglected. […] There are low hanging fruits which means we can save CO2 more efficiently with less money and more market-oriented instruments than by building yet another wind turbine that isn’t connected to the grid and whose energy we cannot store. This costs a lot of money but only causes the need for more use of lignite power. We are looking for reasonable ways to achieve climate targets across various sectors. This may be a small difference we have with the Green Party which is very much focused on the generation of energy.”

 

Cem Özdemir and Katrin Göring-Eckardt, top candidates of the Green Party:

Speaking at a press conference, the Green top candidates said about energy and climate policy and possible controversies with the Free Democrats in upcoming coalition talks:

Özdemir: “Climate change is not just any topic to us that we focus on to annoy others, it’s the existential question for life on our planet and by the way also what decides about the economic success of our country. There is no economic success without climate action.”

Göring-Eckardt: “We have to comply with the Paris Agreement. Now we’re talking about how to fulfil it. This will involve renewable energies, transport and a mobility transition and agriculture. We don’t intend to fill every last space with a wind turbine. But we will have to invest in renewable energies. We will also have to see to shaping a working power market in Germany and prevent lignite power from blocking the grid. We are currently world leaders in lignite production and converting it into electricity. The FDP always claims to be a very open and innovative party. It really surprises me that they are sticking to the fossil energy production from the last century.”

 

24 September 2017

Angela Merkel, chancellor and CDU party leader:

“We are the strongest force. We have the mandate to form a government and no government can be formed without us.”

 

Martin Schulz, SPD party leader and chancellor candidate:

In an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF, Schulz was asked if he definitely ruled out that the SPD would enter another grand coalition. “Yes. It is absolutely clear that the mandate given to us by the voters is the opposition.”

 

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, top candidate of the Green Party:

“Our voters expect us to make the climate a key priority. […] In ecologic questions, many things separate us [from the Free Democratic Party, editor’s note].”

 

Christian Lindner, top candidate of the Free Democratic Party (FDP):

“Of course the FDP stands behind the climate targets of Paris. What separates us from the Greens is their ideological and subsidy-driven energy policy. We want a market oriented model.”

Regarding a possible coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU and the Green Party, Lindner said: “We will not be pushed into such a government. We are looking at many open questions. A Jamaica coalition will be difficult. We have priorities, such as education and faster digitalisation. We need a reasonable energy policy and immigration policy. There is common ground but also distances between us and the CDU and the Greens.”

 

Cem Özdemir, top candidate of the Green Party:

"The issues will determine the coalition possibilities. We will not enter in any coalition without a clear priority for climate protection, without a strong Europe and without society solidarity. That, in a nutshell, is what it’s going to be about.”

“This is not just any topic that we make up. It is THE existential question – climate change. We see these storms – You know, I have two kids and I have a responsibility for them. And I can only take on responsibility in this country, if the next government is one that finally starts to reduce CO₂ emissions. […] One day, we’ll have to take stock and account for what we have done against climate change. We [the Greens] have good plans, we are prepared. On this basis we will talk with the other parties.”

 

Winfried Kretschmann, Green state premier in Baden-Württemberg:

On a possible "Jamaica" coalition of the Greens with Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Free Democrats (FDP): "If we are offered talks, we will participate in earnest [...] Every coalition means that compromises are necessary [...] Climate change is a very important issue to us [...] Some things are especially important to us, for example a quick exit from coal. These things have to be discussed in detail once we get there."

 

Jürgen Trittin, Green Party MP, former environment minister; led the coalition talks for the Greens in 2013:

“We have a decent result […] But we know it will be a difficult process. If Angela Merkel approaches us, we will talk with her about a coalition. But there are  three conditions: The CDU must become more ecologic, the Liberal Democrats must become more social and the CSU has to get more liberal.”

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.