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Monday, October 25, 2021

Parliamentary elections in Germany: climate crisis and energy among the key topics

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The fight against the climate crisis and the issue of ensuring a steady supply of inexpensive energy for the largest European economy were among the main topics of the campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections in Germany. What do the parties offer and promise their voters?

On Sunday at 8.00 am polling stations were opened in West Germany. Germany can vote in elections to the Bundestag until 18.00. The new parliament will elect a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will resign after 16 years of rule. In the pre-election polls, the Social Democrats are slightly ahead of the Christian Democrats.

All mainstream parties agree on the need to reduce (carbon dioxide) emissions, but they are divided on how to achieve them. Below we explain the proposals for the energy policy of the largest German parties and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

CDU / CSU fraction

The CDU and CSU are against radical change, they want to improve the “good things” that have already been achieved. This applies, inter alia, to to maintain the current industrial production, while paying attention to climate protection. They are strongly opposed to tax increases, but also to introducing greater reliefs.

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– climate neutrality until 2045,

– reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030.

– accelerating the development of wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy production, but without specific targets,

– looser regulations on design and construction permits for new power plants.

– accepting the use of “blue hydrogen” produced from fossil fuels in combination with carbon capture, at least for a transitional period.

– expanding carbon dioxide emissions trading in the European Union to the transport and heating industries as soon as possible,

– abolition of the charge for RES added to consumer bills.

– no ban for diesel vehicles,

– no speed limits on motorways,

– development of high-speed railways,

– abolition of aviation tax for carriers using alternative fuels.

SPD

In their program, the Social Democrats undertake to achieve the goal of climate protection by reducing CO2 emissions by 65%. by 2030 (e.g. by limiting the speed to 130 km / h on motorways, expanding the railway network). They assume achieving climate neutrality by 2045 at the latest. The SPD has also announced that taxes will be cut for the majority, but also increased for the “very rich”.

– climate neutrality by 2045 at the latest.

– reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030.

– 100 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2040,

– solar panels on all public buildings and office roofs.

– Germany as the leading market for hydrogen technology.

– abolition of the RES fee by 2025.

– opposition to the increase in the burden for ordinary people (related to the increase in the prices of carbon dioxide emissions, added to the prices of gasoline, gas and heating fuels).

– better and cheaper railways to reduce short-haul flight connections,

– at least 15 million electric vehicles in 2030,

– maximum speed on highways up to 130 km / h.

Greens

The Greens opted for an “eco-social election program for the middle class”, devoid of radical demands. The party focuses mainly on climate protection (including by limiting speed on highways or banning short-haul flights) and social issues.

– climate neutrality achievable within 20 years, with a full switch to renewable energy by 2035,

– reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.

– 100 percent renewable energy by 2035,

– about 1.5 million roofs with new solar panels in 4 years,

– accelerating the move away from coal (by 2030),

– increasing the capacity of wind farms to 5-6 gigawatts per year, compared to 1.4 gigawatts in 2020.

– the stop of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline,

– using hydrogen where electricity cannot be used, for example in industry, shipping and air transport,

– support for both local production and import of hydrogen, on condition that it is generated by means of wind or solar energy.

– increasing the price of carbon dioxide as soon as possible in order to accelerate the final phase of the transition from 2025 to 2023, the profits would be used to reduce the fees for renewable energy.

– from 2030, only the registration of zero-emission vehicles is possible,

– at least 15 million electric vehicles by 2030 and the phasing-out of internal combustion engines,

– investments in public transport,

– replacement of short flights by the development of railways,

– maximum speed on highways up to 130 km / h.

Free Democratic Party (FDP)

The main points of the liberals’ election program are tax breaks for companies and the market climate protection program. They want a reduction in bureaucracy and tax cuts, a return to the debt brake. In the field of climate protection, they provide for a “strict CO2 limit”, while rejecting the government’s guidelines for achieving climate goals.

– climate neutrality by 2050.

– accelerating the development of renewable energy by increasing carbon prices.

– support for the use of hydrogen and the production of “blue hydrogen”.

– abolition of the RES fee on the accounts,

– extension of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) to all sectors of the economy.

– promoting clean engines and alternative fuels,

– no speed limits on motorways,

– no specific departure date for internal combustion engines,

– abolition of aviation tax,

Alternative for Germany (AfD)

The party questions man’s influence on global warming and demands the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. It also wants to abolish all safety rules that the government has put in place to fight the pandemic. The AfD is in favor of the Germans leaving the European Union.

– construction of wind turbines only if there is no opposition from local residents.

– abandoning plans to abandon coal combustion and to phase out nuclear power plants.

– abolition of aviation tax,

– abandoning the preferential treatment of electric vehicles.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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