Habeck’s climate protection plans: The super minister blows to catch up

To analyse

Status: 11.01.2022 4:26 p.m.

The first green super minister would have liked to have given better messages at his first big appearance. But Habeck has to start with a lousy carbon footprint. His plans seem all the more ambitious.

By Anita Fünffinger, ARD capital studio

Robert Habeck comes into the room of the Federal Press Conference with large cardboard in A3 format and dozens of pieces of paper under his arm. One more quick look at the many cameras, the tie-free suit is in place, Habeck takes a seat, it could start.

Anita Fünffinger
ARD capital studio

But it is only 10:57 a.m. – he has to bridge three minutes. A little embarrassed, he holds one of his many pieces of paper up to the cameras, followed by a second. The ominous A3 cardboard, however, is still hidden.

The first green super minister would have liked to have given a better message in his first big appearance in front of the capital city press. But after his Ministry of Economic Affairs, which has expanded to include the area of ​​climate protection, has calculated, compared and added up, Habeck has to paint a bleak picture: Germany could clearly miss its climate protection targets in 2030. You lag three times behind, Habeck calculates using several examples. It took Germany 30 years to achieve a 42 percent share of renewable energies for power supply. Now you have eight years to reach the 80 percent agreed in the coalition agreement.

Plans by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Change Habeck to achieve the climate protection goal

Julie Kurz, ARD Berlin, daily news 2 p.m., 11.1.2022

A mountain of work

Now the time has come for the DIN A3 cardboard. Clear to see: The curve of the expansion of renewable energies in the past 30 years is much too flat. If Germany wants to achieve its self-imposed climate protection goals, figuratively speaking, a steeply rising mountain has to be climbed. Habeck tosses the cardboard on the floor and picks up the next one, which doesn’t look much better. If Germany wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030, there is literally a mountain of work ahead of politicians – and society as well.

Solar roofs instead of gas heating

The green super minister is aware of his mammoth task. Climate protection costs money, energy and time. It will not be easy to convince the 85 percent non-Green voters that in the long term it would be better to equip houses exclusively with heat pumps and solar roofs instead of continuing to rely on gas heating. Many people are still bothered by the fact that wind farms “make the landscape poor”, and it is by far not clear to everyone why one should build a solar system on their new house, of all places.

Habeck sighs that he cannot speak to 80 million people to convince them. But it must also be clear to everyone that wind turbines can no longer be prevented with the argument: “Please don’t go there. I always go for a walk with my Waldi!”

Habeck relies on togetherness and dialogue

Conversely, Habeck seems to be thinking: If I could really speak to every citizen, then that would be fine. As so often, he relies on social interaction and dialogue, the power of language and better arguments. During his time as minister in Schleswig-Holstein, he seems to have succeeded in doing this. At least nothing of scorched earth can be heard on the fjord. But now the people in the Swabian Alb have to be just as convinced as those in Lusatia. He believes in it, says Habeck. His look is convinced – also of himself.

Good persuasion is not enough

But only with good persuasion will the acceptance of large-scale wind and solar parks not increase. Habeck is also aware of this. He also wants to change laws and, for example, approach the controversial distance rules for wind turbines: “Where distance rules are put in place to carry out prevention planning, they can no longer apply.” A clear sign in the direction of Bavaria. The 10-H regulation there is the strictest in all of Germany. It stipulates that a wind turbine must be at least ten times its height away from residential buildings.

Plans are explosive

Habeck can look forward to lengthy discussions and, if necessary, even longer mediation procedures between the Bundesrat and the Bundestag. The super minister announces a different weighing up of protected interests. Translated, this means: The government could put climate protection at the top when designating new areas for wind or solar parks. Distance rules or noise pollution would no longer be of the highest priority. Such plans are explosive because the question always arises as to which good should be the highest good.

As a minister, he will be measured against the plans, says Habeck. When he leaves the hall and tucks the A3 cardboard under his arm, it looks a bit crumpled.


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