Green Party Realizes Germany May Need Fossil Fuels After All As Economic Crisis Drags On

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The German Green Party wants to moderate the European Green party’s stance on how long they want the country to use natural gas and coal amid serious economic woes and political blowback.

The European Green Party wants to move up its timeline for attaining net-zero emissions from 2050 to 2040, but the German Greens are advocating for a 2045 target date and seeking to cut out calls to end the use of natural gas by 2035 and oil by 2040, according to Euractiv. The German Greens are part of the country’s governing coalition, which has seen its popularity plummet as the country’s economy has performed poorly amid a prolonged energy crisis.

The 2045 target date is already a part of the German Greens’ platform, but the timelines for oil and gas phaseouts are points of contention between the German party and the wide European institution, according to Euractiv. (RELATED: Germany Says Nuclear Energy Is ‘Dangerous,’ Slams EU For Labeling It Sustainable)

Germany closed its last remaining nuclear plants in April 2023 to complement its massive green energy spending blitz, even as the German economy was deteriorating as soaring energy costs undermined its industrial base, according to Politico.

The meager economic outlook and energy crisis is also shaking up German politics. German farmers recently conducted a week-long wave of protest across the country in response to the government’s plan to cut crucial agricultural subsidies to plug a massive budget gap and fund green initiatives.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s right-wing populist party, has seen its popularity more than double since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022, according to polling data from Politico. About 80% of the German population is unsatisfied with the current governing coalition, and more than half of the country wants elections before 2025, the currently scheduled date, according to Bloomberg News.

“So much wild stuff continues to be downstream of Germany’s insane nuclear phaseout in the face of not only the energy crisis but also the EU’s own climate goals. German Greens, part of a deeply unpopular coalition government, want a longer fossil phasedown to keep nuclear offline,” Mark Nelson, the founder and managing director of Radiant Energy Group, an energy consultancy, wrote in a post to X. “This is because if they lose power too soon, their now-unpopular enforcement of Germany’s nuclear shutdown could be reversed as several reactors remain in pristine condition and a new German government without the Greens could quickly turn them back on.”

The German Green Party did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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