Ms. Winter, you are one of the founders of the “Climate Union”. What do you want to achieve within the CDU and CSU with this new initiative?
Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.
The Union’s climate policy must be more ambitious. We advocate that the limitation of global warming by a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius is included in the election program and later in the government program of the CDU and CSU. For Germany this means that we have to become climate neutral by 2040 at the latest. I am a member of the federal executive committee of the CDU and am already fighting for this goal. With the Climate Union we want to give the project even more emphasis.
Do you strive to be recognized as a party organization like the SME Union or the Evangelical Working Group?
Yes. We want to become a recognized association within the party. To do this, however, we first have to gain a certain breadth.
What should be the specific profile of the CDU in the climate debate?
The Union combines the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement with economic policy. We don’t want Germany to be de-industrialized. That is why we have to increase our electricity production from renewable sources by a factor of two to three in order to meet demand. The motto must be: wind power from the dike instead of oil from the sheikh.
Why should voters who care about climate protection vote for the CDU? That’s what the Greens traditionally exist for.
The importance of climate protection is now recognized and a no-brainer. There is hardly any cross-party disagreement. What sets us apart are the methods. We stand differently than Fridays for Future for the social Market economy and do not want any bans. Citizens should continue to eat a bratwurst and be allowed to fly on vacation.
What other way should the ambitious climate targets then be achieved?
For example, through higher pricing of emissions. In science, a CO2 price of 50 to 60 euros per ton is considered appropriate. However, such measures must always be taken be designed to be socially balanced. And we have to make progress with expanding the power lines.
Your party has now had the opportunity to solve precisely such questions for more than 15 years. In the opinion of many experts, the result is a screwed-up, because expensive and contradicting energy turnaround.
That is precisely why I am running for the Bundestag in the autumn. I was ten years ago 15 years ago and I would be delighted if we could make faster progress in implementing the energy transition in the future.
Then we’ll put it to the test: The CDU has promoted the fact that – for example in its political home in northwest Germany – large animal populations have been built up that have a negative impact on the environment and the climate. Does the Climate Union want to reverse that?
I am not an expert on agricultural policy. It would therefore be presumptuous to demand anything here now. Our goal must be to develop new solutions and involve the farmers in the process.
Nuclear power is being expanded in many countries around the world because it is not as harmful to the climate as gas or coal. How do you rate this development?
My first political act was to take part in an anti-nuclear demonstration. I was 13 years old then. To this day I am of the opinion that we are doing the environment no favors with nuclear power. The final disposal has not yet been clarified. Only when nuclear fusion technology has matured at some point could we talk about this alternative again.
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