Grosse Koalition, small Klimapaket

by Adam Tooze – September 30, 2019

Social Europe

Much was expected of the new climate package negotiated by the grand-coalition government in Berlin. Less was delivered.

In Germany Friday September 20th 2019 was billed as the moment at which Angela Merkel’s Grosse Koalition would reclaim leadership in climate politics. There was even talk that green investment might serve as a justification for overriding the Schuldenbremse (debt brake)—the 2009 constitutional amendment which constrains government borrowing at both national and local levels.

A large part of the German public is mobilised. On September 20th perhaps as many as 1.4 million demonstrators were on the streets calling for climate action. But if they expected the ‘GroKo’ to answer their call, they were to be disappointed. The Klimapaket (climate package) which emerged at midday after a night of intense negotiations fell far short.

Indeed it suggests that on climate Germany no longer aspires to lead from the front. If this is the case, it marks an important historic shift—with wider implications for Europe.

Originally published in Social Europe. Read full article here (subscription may be required).