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Comment: Fishing For Votes

The German energy transition is no longer running smoothly - this has become clear to everyone this year at the latest, when it was announced not only that Germany was definitely failing to meet its climate targets for 2020, but that the Federal Government was also squeezing out of a proper climate package, while at the same time more than 1.5 million citizens took to the streets for it.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

It is long overdue that climate protection has taken on a broad position in the public debate as a result of many discussions, appeals by scientists and not least Fridays for Future. At the same time, however, one can also see what kind of negative spin off this is producing.

When renewable energies have just displaced lignite as the next fossil fuel in Germany, some CDU politicians (Christian Democratic Union, Merkel's conservative party) are suddenly bringing a renaissance of nuclear power into play. Despite the fact, that the phase-out was decided in 2011 - enforced by the Chancellor herself - and the share of nuclear power is now only about 14 percent in Germany. Citizens, too, are already thinking much further ahead, as the increasing switch to green electricity suppliers shows.

So why this discussion? The CDU is apparently afraid of the next elections. The European elections in May in particular may have put many a CDU politician through a sweat of fear in view of the record figures for the Greens. Environmental protection is the topic of the day and one of the big issues of our time.

Of course, it is an excellent coincidence that the advantages of nuclear power can be emphasised in at least one aspect: In view of rising greenhouse gas emissions (despite renewables), nuclear power plants first of all appear clean. Therefore the energy-political speaker of the union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Joachim Pfeiffer, can quite imagine a return to nuclear power, as he communicated now public-effectively. He had been opposed to the phase-out anyway from the very beginning.

It is clear who he is aiming at with such statements: the CDU is trying to get the voters back that have migrated to the nationalist AFD during the last elections. This is not only fishing in very murky water, but also an economic disaster. New nuclear power plants are absolutely unprofitable these days, as a glance at France or England shows, where the costs for current construction projects have to be constantly corrected upwards. In contrast, the costs for the never-getting-finished BER Airport for the German capital are just a joke. And to let the existing nuclear power plants run further than 2022 is hardly possible alone from legal view - not to mention the then forthcoming protest of the respective federal governments in Germany and/or the citizens (= VOTERS!).

In times when even Bavarian governor Markus Söder (of the even more conservative CSU) has discovered environmental protection as a topic for himself, such statements only put you to the sidelines.

Katrin Radtke
Germany, comment, CDU, party, nuclear, power plant, federal, renewables, politics

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