At their digital party congress, the Greens settled their controversy about the target of limiting global warming. In the corresponding chapter of the new basic program decided on Saturday, the party is more clearly committed to the 1.5 degree limit. Party leader Robert Habeck affirmed the Greens’ claim to power in his speech: “For the first time, a third party is seriously fighting for the leadership of this country.”
“The central basis of our policy is the Paris Climate Agreement and the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the 1.5 degree limit,” says the chapter “Protecting the Basics of Life”. “It is therefore necessary to get on the 1.5 degree path.” Immediate and substantial action in the next few years is crucial.
Before that, representatives of the environmental movement had appealed to the Greens to be more clearly committed to the 1.5 degree limit. In the original draft of the basic program, it was stated that, according to the Paris Climate Agreement, global heating should be “limited to well below two degrees, if possible to 1.5 degrees”.
The environmental activist Luisa Neubauer from “Fridays for Future” welcomed the change. “The Greens have taken an important step today under pressure from broad social alliances,” she tweeted.
In the adopted chapter, the Greens reaffirm the demand for 100 percent renewable energies, combined with the withdrawal from all fossil resources. Agriculture is to be rebuilt ecologically, the railways are to be strengthened in public transport and more space is to be created for cyclists and pedestrians.
No majority found an amendment to anchor a speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour on motorways and 30 kilometers per hour in urban areas in the basic program. The Greens had already announced that in the event of government participation after the federal elections, they wanted to push through a speed limit of 130 on German motorways as quickly as possible.
On Saturday the also controversial topic of direct democracy was on the agenda of the party congress. Habeck spoke out against referendums at the federal level in advance. “The Brexit was triggered by a referendum, Europe’s constitution was prevented by it,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“The question is what problem a nationwide referendum will solve,” said Habeck. He advocated the model of “citizens’ councils”, which should submit proposals to parliaments on specific issues.
In his speech at the party congress, Habeck justified his claim to leadership by stating that the Greens “had to face the challenges of the new era” and that the current government was in a “permanent repair mode”. Habeck emphasized that his party “works for the whole of society”.
The fight for the leadership of the country is “a high claim, a bold one, perhaps a cheeky one,” said Habeck in his speech, which the digitally connected over 800 delegates followed. In the cosmos of the Greens, power was “often a yuck term,” said Habeck. “But power comes from doing.”
In his speech, Habeck also denounced failures in dealing with the Corona crisis and made comparisons with climate policy: “If we let the climate crisis escalate, like the Corona crisis, then we as a political generation have failed.” It is still said that climate protection endangers economic success. “There will only be economic success and prosperity in the future with and through climate protection,” said Habeck.