The three political parties in charge of the negotiations: the Social Democrat, the Green and the Liberal, reached an agreement on November 24 to form a new government in Germany, after two months of talks. The new tripartite coalition will be led by Olaf Scholz, who would occupy the dignity of chancellor, replacing the prominent leader Angela Merkel. For the unprecedented alliance, climate change will be at the center of the new government’s priorities.
Germany has a new coalition government. Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals reached an agreement to form a new Administration that would see Olaf Scholz, current Finance Minister, succeed Angela Merkel as the country’s new leader.
The three political parties, known as the “traffic light coalition”, because of their red, green and yellow colors, announced the tripartite coalition pact on November 24, in Berlin, after the national elections on September 26 in which the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won, but by a slim margin, which opened two months of intense negotiations.
Scholz, of the Social Democrats, would be the new Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock of the Greens will become Minister of Foreign Affairs and her party partner, Robert Habeck, will receive a new position known as “super minister”, which combines the Ministry of Economy with the environmental protection objectives.
Also, Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democrats, will become the new finance minister. Hubertus Heil of the Social Democrats is the only minister in the old government who will retain his post as Minister of Labor.
Climate change will mark the agenda of the new German government
This will be the first tripartite alliance at the national level in the history of Germany and the first to place the climate emergency on its line of priorities, which will be a key issue in each of the ministries.
All three parties reported that they agreed to commit to phase out coal by 2030 and end gas power generation by 2040. All at a time when Europe’s largest economy aspires to carbon neutrality, in line with international commitments to mitigate global warming.
Among the measures aimed at achieving this, the parties highlight the end of sales of new cars with a combustion engine by 2035. They will promote the use of electric vehicles, of which at least 15 million are expected on the country’s roads in the next ten years .
They also agreed to increase freight transport by rail by 25%.
On the other hand, they propose the prohibition of gas heating systems in new buildings and replace existing ones with other environmentally friendly ones.
However, there are doubts about how the new trilogue government will operate on this and other issues, amid their differences.
The Greens have pushed through a huge investment program to fight climate change, as well as fix Germany’s aging infrastructure. During the election campaign, they pledged to raise taxes and relax debt rules to free up money that can cover increased spending to make the necessary changes to curb climate change.
But the Free Democrats, known for their fiscal caution, have ruled out the tax hike. With Lindner at the head of the Finance Ministry, it is expected that it will be the preferences of this party that will shape the monetary policy of the new Administration, over the approach of the Greens.
The new government is scheduled to be sworn in in the first week of December 6. Meanwhile, the coalition agreement must be ratified by the three political formations.
The Social Democrats and the Liberal Democrats will have to do it in their respective party conferences and the Greens reported that they will put it to a vote, a process of at least 10 days that will begin this Thursday, November 25.
With Reuters and EFE