German Climate Group challenges the “establishment” Green Party


Doris Vollmer is clearly a political novice. She fumbled for her power points and left a blank in the name of a candidate. But when the German physicist poked a glass of balanced water on the podium, he also caught the audience’s attention. She said, imagine this is a rise in global temperature.

“It’s going up! It’s going up,” she shouted. When the glass fell, water splashed on the stage. “You can’t put the water back in the glass. You can’t reverse a tipping point…. Politicians want to follow the old strategy: negotiate, negotiate. But you cannot negotiate with nature.”

This is an unusual speech by one of Germany’s newest national political parties, the Klimaliste or “Climate List”. Party Chairman Walmer and her peers, scientists and activists wore jeans and Birkenstocks and seemed to be easily obliterated.

But they represent that Germany’s growing climate activism may become a double-edged sword for the Green Party that emerged in the September federal election.

Klimaliste, led by party chairman Doris Vollmer, fears that the Green Party will compromise too much to be able to come to power. © Klimaliste

Even if the Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock made a credible proposal to replace Angela Merkel as prime minister, the party Have been laughed at As a group of chaotic hippies and idealists, they are being attacked from the other side: because they are too old-fashioned.

“A new kind of party is needed. A party that listens to science. This involves people. This recognizes the global challenge,” said Alicia Sophia Chinon, a candidate for Klimaliste in Berlin.

This is not the usual criticism of the Green Party. But under the leadership of Belbok and her co-leader Robert Habeck, a party that has long been deadlocked between the left-wing “fundis” and the centrist “realos” has become a streamlined political force determined to attract change in Germany. Cautious conservative centrist.

Most grassroots reluctantly followed. But some people resist, worrying that the Green Party has softened their climate goals, and if they form the next coalition government—probably with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU)—they might compromise further.

“The Green Party is considering power politics,” said Alexander Grevel, a Klimaliste activist in Stuttgart. “We are here to put pressure on the Green Party to ask them to do more for the climate again.”

Klimaliste’s goal is not so much a disagreement with the green policy as it is a reinforcement. The Green Party seeks to achieve carbon neutrality within 20 years, while Crimalist hopes to achieve it “as soon as possible”, at most within 10 years. The Greens want a carbon tax of 60 euros per ton; Klimaliste said it should be 195 euros.

Political analysts such as Andrea Römmele of the Herty Institute in Berlin said that the Green Party is still expected to join the government, but warned that reaching too many compromises would strengthen the power of Klimaliste and other activists and bring long-term political challenges to the party.

“If they make a lot of concessions, especially in business,” she said, “then there will be more room on the left side of the party.”

Klimaliste claims that the voters represented may not be a large electoral force, but they have influence. The student-led “Future and Extinction Rebellion Friday” protests pushed climate policy to the forefront of the national agenda, forcing politicians to react.

They helped the German Green Party achieve the best results ever in the European Parliament in 2019, and even Won the most recent case Strengthen climate law in the Constitutional Court. In March, the Crimalist candidate in the regional elections in Baden-Württemberg, the only state of the Green Party, pushed the party to re-commit to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Both parties agree that this pressure is useful.

“I’m glad that someone kept us sharp,” said Reinhard Bütikofer, a member of the German Green Party European Parliament. “It helps to highlight major issues.”

Robert Habek and Annalena Belbok, co-leaders of the German Green Party
The co-leaders of the German Green Party, Robert Habek and Annalena Belbok, helped completely change the party’s image © Getty Images

Klimaliste has only about a year or so, and 70 candidates will be selected through Germany’s direct voting list. If they win at least three seats, they can create a parliamentary group to join the investigation and legislative committee.

However, the Baden-Württemberg elections show that even a small presence can politically harm green causes. The Green Party has only one seat to ally with the center-left Social Democratic Party and clear the way for stronger climate policy, but they have to form a government with the CDU. Some Greens accused Klimaliste.

“Some of us are crying,” a green politician admitted privately. “In the three counties, our votes were lost to them… Strategically really stupid [of them] Do it now. “

Greville had no apologies. He believes that since the Green Party won the leadership of this region ten years ago, not only have they not changed their renewable energy goals, but they have also fallen behind some CDU-led regions.

The Green Party retorted that Baden-Württemberg, the center of the German auto industry, is a greater challenge and a more conservative state of reform.

A plan that will never get you close to ruling can be as radical as you want, but it will not achieve anything,” Bütikofer said.

A few months ago, none of this worried the Greens because they soared to the top of the polls after Belbok was nominated. Now they have fallen 10 points behind the CDU-hit by false reports about her resume, accusations of plagiarizing books, and defamation campaigns.

In the Friday protests held in Berlin for the future — held once a week before the election — few publicly supported the Green Party. “We didn’t come here as a support tool for the Green Party,” a college student shouted, wrapped in an earth flag in a “dance demonstration,” where dancers who kept their distance from society twisted to the beat of electronic music. “We are about climate justice.”

Hinon wants to use this momentum to shake all German leaders, whether Green or not: “We want to bring the streets into parliament.”

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