The coalition agreement of the traffic light parties is shaped by climate protection, but too many measures remain vague.
The expectations of the new coalition in terms of climate protection are high. The grand coalition itself has mostly not achieved its own climate targets, and ultimately only because of the Corona crisis, the expansion of renewable energies largely came to a standstill. The fact that there was at least minimal progress, in the end, was less due to the ruling parties than to external pressure from Fridays for Future and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The SPD, the Greens, and the FDP have now presented a coalition agreement in which the chapter on "Climate protection in a socio-ecological market economy" is the most extensive, at least in terms of the number of pages.
The expansion of renewable energies is to be accelerated significantly and the coal phase-out is to be brought forward. The traffic light coalition plans that by 2030 renewable energies will cover 80 percent of the electricity demand. The new government is also assuming a significantly higher demand for electricity than it is today and is correcting the previous government's rather cautious estimates upwards.
The share of renewable energies in heating should also increase significantly: "We are striving for a very high share of renewable energies in heating and want to generate 50 percent of the heat in a climate-neutral manner by 2030."
Coal phase-out "ideally" in 2030
The coal phase-out should be brought forward, it says: "Ideally, this will be achieved by 2030." At most, it is surprising that it has not been possible to come up with a more unambiguous formulation. Although the old federal government had targeted a much later phase-out date (2038), experts have long assumed that a phase-out of coal in 2030 would be unavoidable due to the EU climate targets alone.
What is more relevant is what the traffic light coalition is planning in terms of natural gas. It was recently speculated that a gas phase-out in 2040 and an end to existing gas heating systems could be on the program. But there is nothing in the coalition agreement about these plans.
The agreement provides for "the construction of modern gas-fired power plants". However, these should be built in such a way that they can be used with hydrogen (H2-ready) in the future.
Even ambitious climate protection scenarios such as that of the Agora Energiewende organization (German Organization) provide for new gas-fired power plants to be built for a transitional phase. But it will be exciting to see how it can be guaranteed that the gas-fired power plants that are now being built will not be operated using fossil fuels in the long term.
The coalition agreement states: "In dialogue with the companies, we will look for solutions on how we can issue operating permits for energy infrastructure (power plants or gas lines) with fossil fuels in a legally secure manner so that operations continue beyond the year 2045 only with non-fossil fuels without triggering an investment freeze, bad investments, and compensation claims. " That leaves a lot of leeway for the precise implementation.