Germany must show the world the way into a greener future. Future Chancellor Olaf Scholz has big plans for his new government.
Hope, modernization, change. This is how the incoming government has profiled itself since the election in September. They have promised digitalisation, climate change and more social justice. For several weeks, 300 politicians from the SPD (Social Democrats), FDP (Free Democrats) and the Greens have sat in 22 working groups. Hardly anything has been leaked.
Wednesday at 15 they presented the government platform. It has been entitled “Dare more progress – The Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability.” The goal is for Germany to become a pioneer in the field of climate and environment. They will ensure “climate-neutral prosperity” and follow the 1.5-degree track from the climate agreement in Paris.
But they want more. They will also develop new green technology that other countries can use. – This is the largest industrial modernization in Germany in a hundred years, said future Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the press conference.
Wind and sun
Germany is facing a massive development of renewable energy. By 2030, three goals must be met:
- Wind and solar energy will account for 80 percent of all electricity consumption (so far the goal has been 65 percent). All available roofs must be used for solar panels. New commercial buildings are obliged to use solar energy. In addition, two percent of the states’ area will be set aside for wind power.
- Every third car must be electric.
- The coal industry should “ideally” be phased out. It is eight years earlier than the current plan.
In addition, hydrogen production will become a separate industry. The government is in favor of founding a European cooperation for green hydrogen, it is stated in the coalition agreement.
Germany will be climate neutral by 2045. It is five years faster than the EU’s target.
Climate and finance must have been controversial until the last hour of negotiations. The FDP has gone to the polls on promises of zero tax increase, which is admittedly not mentioned in the coalition agreement. Other promises that are mentioned are that most people should not have to bear the costs of higher energy prices. Several measures will ensure social equalization.
So how should the green investment be financed?
According to the newspaper Die Zeit, the answer does not lie in the coalition agreement. Admittedly, several measures are mentioned, but none of them are sufficient:
- The public sector must become more efficient.
- Support schemes that are not climate-friendly must be abolished.
- Private business must also be actively involved.
The newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine refers to a planned climate and transformation fund. A separate investment fund for green development for business and industry can be financed with the help of loans.
Cannabis in store?
The coalition agreement is 178 pages long. It contains, among other things, plans for modernization of infrastructure and changes in social policy. They also want a new immigration policy. It will prevent illegal immigration, but also make it easier to enter the country legally.
This is also what the next government wants:
- “A digital breakthrough.” Digitization must get a big boost.
- The voting age is reduced to 16 years.
- The minimum wage is raised to 12 euros per hour.
- Cannabis must be able to be sold legally in special shops.
- 400,000 new apartments will be built annually. A quarter will be financed by the public sector. A separate housing ministry will be established.
Green Foreign Minister
The three parties have divided the ministerial posts between them. The SPD gets seven, the Greens get five and the FDP gets four. In addition to Olaf Scholz becoming chancellor, these names are considered safe:
- Robert Habeck (party leader of the Greens) becomes Minister of Climate and Trade. He will also be Vice-Chancellor.
- Annalena Baerbock (Party Leader of the Greens) becomes Foreign Minister.
- Christian Lindner (party leader FDP) becomes finance minister.
The greens are also given responsibility for the environment, agriculture and the family. FDP receives justice and education / research. They must also get the Ministry of Transport. Here lies the responsibility for digitization.
Among other things, the Social Democrats will be responsible for the interior, health and defense.