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Climate protection: The Cretschmannisierung of climate policy


The climate policy of all parties is completely inadequate. Self-interest, comfort and repression dominate. If you want climate protection, you have to think much more radically.

How much climate protection do we need? Is radical climate protection fair? Are we doing enough against global warming? Felix Ekardt, Head of the Research Center Sustainability and Climate Policy in Leipzig and Professor at the University of Rostock, has been doing research for more than 20 years. He is also honorary chairman of the BUND Sachsen and he is close to the Greens: In 2013, he ran for the party in the mayoral election in Leipzig. But even the Greens are too slack in climate issues, he says. Why? He writes about this in this text. As with previous contributions, he answers this time also to the comments of our readers. Discuss with us!

The climate package of the Federal Government contributes almost nothing to limit global warming to the internationally binding 1.5 to 1.8 degrees. For that we would have to reduce all emissions in all sectors worldwide to zero for a maximum of 20 years. However, in all the fuss about the inadequate policies of the grand coalition, one important point is lost: the other parties have not fully grasped the scale of the challenge, not even the Greens. Measured by the 1.5-degree mark, they too make completely inadequate proposals ,

For example, from the technical point of view, the CO2 price of around 40 euros per ton of greenhouse gas planned by the Greens in Germany is a joke. Necessary would be for the said zero emissions in all sectors in two decades rather ten times or more, certainly gradually, but not starting so low.

You can not simultaneously cut off other resource taxes, such as electricity tax, or even give citizens back the proceeds of a taxpayer's tax, as they risk losing their money back into new consumption and use of the environment. In addition, the debate distracts structural changes that take it from one important point, rather than personal behavioral change habits: policy change and consumption change are only common and conditionally mutually exclusive.

The problem that drives me as a scientist, but also as an active in an environmental organization, but goes beyond the current climate dispute. It seems that even the Greens, in a kind of Kretschmannization or Merkelization, are increasingly aligning their ecologies so that they do not disturb anyone in their lives and are therefore acceptable to a broader middle class. At land and municipal level, similar tendencies can be found.

All this is as depressing as can be explained: Just as the government parties Union and SPD reflects the policy of the Greens the lack of motivation with us all with all self-interest calculi, conveniences, the repression and all too human inclination to excuses - and therefore opt for a comparatively symbolic climate policy , Moreover, actors of all camps do not seem to have understood that climate protection is not just about a political struggle, but about the danger that their very private world and our very existence will collapse.

Behind the inadequate climate policy, there is also a big condemnation, which runs across the entire spectrum of political parties: Climate protection only works if nobody loses anything, otherwise it is right of disposal or not enforceable. On the other hand, it is correct that it is socially much more fatal to do nothing or far too little against climate change. Effective climate protection can also be socialized and work.

But it is true: even if the 1.5-degree limit could be maintained by purely technical measures and without any modesty in our lifestyles - which it is not - this would affect the lifestyle of some people. For example in air traffic: Flying can be on - ecological not even completely convincing - wind- or solar-powered synthetic fuels are converted, but then it gets more expensive. The times when even students can easily fly three times a year would probably be over. Actually, this is trivial. But does that say any politician?

Source: zeit

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