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General debate in the Bundestag: Merkel's climate pledge does not calm doubters

2019-09-11T12:56:06.180Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Berlin (dpa) - In between shimmers through the "Climate Chancellor". Force shift in the world, the flagging economy - Angela Merkel (CDU) beats the big bow in the general debate on the federal budget. Then she flips her note, looks at it again and speaks freely. Climate protection, she says, is nothing less than a "humanity challenge".

The Chancellor prepares her audience for a "tremendous show of strength". In the meantime even the Greens nod approvingly - if not without irony. Merkel's efforts are coming late after almost 14 years of chancellorship, they say. Will the 65-year-old at the last minute possibly save her legacy as "climate chancellor" - instead of being "refugee chancellor" forever?

Next week, the federal government wants to determine how it will reach its climate targets for 2030 after all. Most recently, the topic brought the uprising and voices to the fore. Also in Brandenburg and Saxony, where the Chancellor was hardly visible in the election campaign. In recent elections, especially in the European elections, the governing parties have also lost votes because of their open flank in climate protection. That's what the Union and the SPD themselves analyzed.

Now there is a long list of coalition proposals on the table, from cheaper rail tickets and more expensive flying to a scrapping premium for oil heating, to a price for greenhouse gas emissions that may make driving and heating more expensive. "If we push ahead with climate protection, it will cost money," Merkel admits. But she also says, "If we ignore him, I think it will cost more." Her message: "Doing nothing is not the alternative."

Jürgen Trittin (Greens), who followed Merkel in 1998 as Federal Minister for the Environment, acknowledges the chancellor's appeal with the smug, shameful call that she really had enough time to push this goal forward - and did not do it. Merkel rejects this with a grin, because, as she puts it, "it's just not true."

That does not want to leave Green Party leader Katrin Goering-Eckardt so. She demands: "Stop talking, just do something, finally do something." The window of opportunity to save something is getting smaller and smaller. In fact, Merkel is not very specific in her speech. The will seems there, but whether the federal government actually brings something, will probably only after the Climate Cabinet on September 20, clear.

The name "climate chancellor" got Merkel twelve years ago, when she was explained to climate change in front of icy scenery in Greenland. The pictures of the German Chancellor in bright red jacket went around the world. At that time, Merkel made climate change a main theme of the German G8 presidency. However, this can not hide the fact that Germany will clearly miss its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 - compared to 1990 levels. The green electricity expansion is progressing more slowly than planned. EU penalties for missed requirements are already planned in the federal budget.

The problem area of ​​migration, where Merkel's aspired European solution is still awaiting the present, excludes the Chancellor in her speech. Instead, she calls for a clear demarcation of racists: "We can still spend so much on tax revenue in various and important projects. If it is not clear that there is zero tolerance for racism, hatred and aversion to other people in this country, living together will not succeed. "

In the budget debate of the Bundestag, the AfD continues to work on its image as the "fear party". Group leader Alice Weidel draws the picture of a country that stands on the edge. "Deindustrialization", "job destruction", "immigration crime" - the Germany of which Weidel speaks is a crisis state. Their grim prophecy is accompanied by protests from several intercessors from other factions. Weidel raises his voice and warns: "We are faced with a gigantic bank crash." The Federal Government must counteract this actively, but probably too much the "climate protection delusionality" expired.

Merkel, who does not name her critics by name, has a clear answer to this: in climate protection she focuses on the mechanisms of the social market economy. For she had noticed "that parts of the German economy are obviously further than some here in this house".

Source: zeit

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