On Sunday, Germans will vote for a new parliament. Despite recent floods in the Caribbean and the Southeast Asia, climate change and the Energiewende did not take center stage. So what are Germans concerned about, and how will Germany’s energy transition fare under the most likely coalitions? Craig Morris investigates.
When Germans cast their vote in the national elections on September 24 they will also be deciding on the direction of the country’s energy policy. Arne Jungjohann takes a look at how German politics may help, or hinder, the energy transition.
Lots has been said about Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Accord, but have we overlooked one factor: like-minded politicians abroad feeling encouraged to speak up? Judging from German events, opponents of the Paris agreement are coming out of hiding. As the Germans would say, Trump is making skepticism salonfähig: literally, “suitable for the salon” – something that can be talked about in polite company. Craig Morris explains.
A paper leaked last week reveals the German government’s plans to clamp down on emissions from coal power. But the plans are not a done deal – the meeting on Thursday, which was originally to be held last Saturday, has been boycotted once again. By Craig Morris.
In Germany, support for the Energiewende is not a matter of party membership. It is a field where all parties are active and generally support the Energiewende. To understand this political consensus, one needs to look to rural Germany, explains Alexander Franke.
In 2011, Germany switched off 8 of its 17 nuclear plants. Since then, the country has made headlines not only for its campaign to reduce energy consumption and ramp up renewables – the “Energiewende” – but also for increasing production of coal power in 2013. So is Germany’s energy transition in reality more a switch to coal than to renewables? And is renewable electricity incapable of replacing the country’s nuclear power? Craig Morris investigates in part one of a three-part series.
Cut support for renewables? Sure, but why not start with fossil fuel subsidies that amounted to US$ 544 billion in 2012? While the German Renewable Energy Act will need to be reformed, the fundamental issue of creating a level playing field for renewables remains challenging in an environment where fossil fuels are highly subsidized, argues Matthias Ruchser.
On Sunday, the key posts were announced for Chancellor Merkel’s new cabinet. Craig Morris says a number of appointments make it clear that the new government aims to do what Germans do best: find a consensus.
Recently, our blogger Craig Morris stated that both coalition parties have capable proponents of renewables, but he only mentioned one from the Social Democrats. He says he left out the conservative CDU/CSU intentionally – because he was saving the best for last.
In a few weeks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could officially begin her next term in office now that the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats have reached a coalition agreement. Craig Morris takes a look at the reactions to the new proposals, which Matthias Lang recently summed up here.