29 May 2019, 12:09
Julian Wettengel

We have to give better answers on climate – Merkel


The results of the European elections mean that Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) must give better answers on the climate issue, the German chancellor told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in a TV interview. “The Greens actually have been very strong and it has to do with issues that move the people these days, for example climate change,” said Merkel. “That is a call on my party to give better answers to these questions, and we have to say very clearly that targets we have committed to are targets that we remain committed to.” Merkel also said it was the correct decision for Germany to exit nuclear power, and that phasing out coal around the same time is a big challenge the country will be able to master.

Merkel’s conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) took another blow in the European elections, further rattling the fragile government coalition, as voters increasingly turn away from the established forces in the political centre. Against the backdrop of the highest turnout in EU elections in Germany since reunification, support for the Greens surged amid concerns over the global climate crisis, putting the party in second place. The governing parties blamed their disappointing results at least partly on the poor communication of climate policies and have since vowed to put more emphasis on them. A day after the election, environment minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) sent her draft of a German Climate Action Law to other ministries for consultation. She and several cabinet colleagues met today for the second “climate cabinet” meeting to find ways by the end of the year for Germany to reach its 2030 climate targets.

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