D.he path to the government declaration, which the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) presented in the state parliament on Wednesday, was long and rocky. As early as spring 2019 there was a draft for a first Bavarian climate protection law. It took until the end of 2020 for the law to be passed and quite torn apart by professionals because of its toothless nature. The Bavarian state government implicitly agreed with this assessment when Söder announced a new climate protection law in the wake of the Karlsruhe ruling on climate protection.
A draft for this has also been available for a few weeks, drawn up by the Bavarian Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber from the Free Voters. There are different representations as to why the design has silted up. In the Ministry of the Environment there is a suspicion that he went too far, especially for the CSU parliamentary group. The State Chancellery reported that the holistic approach was missing, and that the measures listed by the Environment Minister were not solidly financed.
Borrowings from Obama and Churchill
In any case, Söder was looking for the big solo serve again. At the beginning of his government statement, he again took the flood disaster of the past few days as an opportunity to speak of a “clear warning and wake-up call”. It is not enough to make faster adjustments to a changing climate, but also to promote climate protection in order to “prevent the climate from tipping over”. Söder started high, not only borrowing from Barack Obama, but also from Winston Churchill: Action today!
But already when listing the principles by which he wants to orient himself in the fight against climate change, it became clear that the “action” would be limited to the gradual. Climate protection should not be “an elite project” – vulgo: Even people with lower incomes should still be able to afford their Mallorca vacation. Bans are “not the panacea”. So: “Guard rails, yes, but not just stop signs”. The goal newly formulated by Söder, according to which compensation payments should flow into the protection of the “Bavarian climate” via a “new CO2 compensation platform”, still seemed half-baked. In any case, the FDP parliamentary group leader Martin Hagen later rightly objected that when it comes to climate protection, there is “not the Bavarian climate, there is the world climate”.
What Söder would say about wind power and solar energy was eagerly awaited. He himself has long been in favor of compulsory solar power for new buildings, but coalition partner Free Voters is against. On the other hand, the Free Voters tend to tilt or at least grind the 10-H distance rule when building new wind turbines, while Söder’s party CSU takes a stand here. The Prime Minister solved the dilemma by not solving it or only halfway.
How can citizens be motivated to do more climate protection?
The federal government should obtain a solar obligation after the general election, and it will fight for it. If that doesn’t happen, the topic will be “brought up again” in Bavaria. The 10-H rule is also adhered to, with Söder referring to the “never-ending disputes” that the construction of new plants sometimes causes. However, obstacles to permits are to be removed, in the state forest or in areas where there are already wind turbines. The upgrading of existing systems (“repowering”) should also be made easier.