AN EXPERT OPINION ON THE EFFECT OF THE NEW GERMAN COALITION ON GERMANY'S CLIMATE POLICY

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5 march 2018

[4C Note: The text of the following important note was sent to us as an email from the Climate Action Network. We supplied the title. As the note makes clear, the author is a member of the German Socialist Party (SPD), whose membership voted by a two-to-one majority on March 4 for participation in a coalition government with the Christian Democratic Party (CDU)]

Germany's New Government Sets Renewable Electricity Target of 65% by 2030

from Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor Global Energy Policies
Climate Action Network International. March 5, 2018

Yesterday night, with about four out of five participating, the almost half million members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) finally voted as to whether we agree on the negotiated coalition treaty with the parliamentary majority Christian Democratic Party (CDU) led by Chancellor Merkel. Against the results of published polls that this might be a very tight race within the SPD in the one way or the other, a strong majority of two thirds of the party members voted in favour of the 100-page proposed policy and politics agreement with the CDU.

So there is very likely a government in place in Berlin rather soon. Final decision is pending on the overall vote in German parliament where the old/new government and ministers needs to be approved by the elected parliamentarians.

For us in clean energy, climate policy, sustainable development etc, the old/new government, that would mean for next four years and based on the coalition treaty – the key crucial commitments:

* While the domestic target of 40% cut in GHG emissions by 2020 based on 1990 will not be met by a margin of 4-9%, there will be some new domestic policies such as new renewable energy auctioning schemes of 2-6 GW in next two years
* For 2030, the German electricity RES target will be 65% instead of 50% in the previous coalition – as we are at about 33% RES in 2017 and hydro as well as biomass is saturated, this will equal a growth of wind and solar of about 3% annually of all power supply in coming years
* Establishment of a national roundtable of affected stakeholders and CSO to agree by 2019 on Just Transition (hopefully!), pathway, policies and timeline to phase out coal in country. In absolute terms, Germany is the largest coal polluter in EU with about one quarter of all.
* High focus on energy efficiency, energy conservation, innovation, electrification etc. Germany shall become the “most energy efficient country in the world”; R&D for new technologies shall more than double to about 3.5% of GDP equivalent.
* And overall, a very strong pro-European (integration) language and commitment with a focus on enhanced coordination with France in particular and external relations that are based on coordination and joint partnerships, including addressing global commons like climate but not limited to those while saying a clear “No” to any nationalism, egoism and “Me First” policy (The US).

These are really not bad targets. Let`s see how things are being implemented.


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