Germany's Green Party is pushing for clean energy, climate-friendly retrofitting, and government stimulus of green jobs. Is this a hopeful sign or a worrying one?
Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
The German Green Party, which is on the rise again (having won an additional seventeen seats in last year’s elections), has set the target of running their country on 100% “clean” energy by 2050, and plans on lobbying for more import restrictions on “unclean” products into the EU. If the Greens get back into government in Germany and implement these sorts of policy, it will create a huge upward struggle for consumers both in Germany and across the EU.
The term “clean renewables” is a piece of politically correct doublethink which includes things like hazardous bio-diesel (which, incidentally, drives up food prices) but excludes nuclear energy which unless run by wasteful communists is ultra-clean. They can also be enormously expensive.
But never mind – it's the consumer who will pick up the tab, and environmentalists rarely care about that. Climate-friendly retrofitting of Germany's buildings could amount to €2.5 trillion, which owners will transfer to tenants through increased rents. Germany has one the highest numbers of renters to homeowners in Europe. Therefore, this matter hugely for disenfranchising households in terms of energy costs. “Green” requirements like these are simply a form of indirect taxation that hit the poor hardest, and those who can’t afford to pay for the government’s green energy targets will be forced to move out of the bigger cities like Berlin and Frankfurt.