It was Monday, May 3rd.

The presidium of the CDU suspected no evil.

Four days earlier, following a lawsuit by environmental activists, the Federal Constitutional Court had ordered the government to give Germany a much tighter plan for climate neutrality, and so the CDU expert, deputy parliamentary group leader Andreas Jung, now put forward the first thoughts: stricter CO2 reduction targets for 2030 and 2040. The icing on the cake should be that the final target “climate neutrality” should already be achieved in 2045.

Five years ahead of schedule.

Konrad Schuller

Political correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

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    But no sooner had Jung presented his master plan than the boom burst: Markus Söder had once again given the prima ballerina in Munich.

    While the CDU was still looking forward to the big appearance in 2045, the CSU boss had stormed the ramp with a number that was even nicer: Climate neutrality for Bavaria as early as 2040. The CDU's plan, with a glamorous target all To draw the spotlights of the climate debate on yourself collapsed.

    Your 2045 now looked as bland as a somersault next to a somersault.

    When the Federal Chairman Armin Laschet then stepped before the press, he preferred not to give a number at all.

    Instead, he just said a little listlessly that they wanted climate neutrality “before the middle of the century”.

    A comedy of jealousies

    The SPD was no better.

    They had played with very similar numbers there.

    In 2045 the Ministry of the Environment under Svenja Schulze started talking about the same time as the CDU.

    But after Söder had rushed forward without any warning (and without any explanation of feasibility), they preferred to shut up here too.

    What good is the tones of the flute when the Bavarian parade march rattles in the alley.

    So it was better to wait until the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

    Then everyone would be together, and the CDU and SPD would then jointly present the slightly battered 2045.

    Shared embarrassment is half embarrassment.

    So it was. The project was announced on May 5, and just one more week later, last Wednesday, the federal cabinet's formal bill followed: Germany should be climate-neutral in 2045, the milestones for 2030 and 2040 will be minus 65 percent and minus 88 percent of the CO2 emissions increased in the reference year 1990. Parliament should give its approval before the summer break.

    A success on the one hand.

    Seldom has such a big step in combating climate change been taken so quickly in Germany.

    On the other hand, there is also the usual comedy of jealousies.

    Once again, the Union and the SPD looked like they were driven by their own little dirty intrigues, but above all like driven by a climate protection movement that they first pushed against the wall in Karlsruhe and then made the fantasy of a Chancellor Annalena Baerbock a plausible possibility.

    Preparatory work already in the EU

    The SPD and the Union can feel the persecutor's breath on their necks, and in internal discussions they do not deny that their offensive on climate protection also has something to do with it. "Of course the soaring of the Greens plays a role," says a social democrat. "If it were eight percent now and not over twenty-five, I don't know whether it would have happened at this rate."