Germany adopts the Bush climate policy

I.e., focusing upon innovation and technology sharing with China, India and the rest of the developing world. Roger Pielke Jr. analyzes the shifts in Merkel policy.

The German government has others things on its agenda these days. However, an article from Der Spiegel contains some interesting and suggestive insights into the evolution of Germany’s climate policies:

(…) After having dreamt of achieving the great objective, now it’s time for realpolitik. Merkel and Röttgen had to admit that countries like China and India will not submit to a mandatory target that others have contrived. They are continuing to pursue their climate policies, but are focusing strictly on domestic issues — and neither is willing to relinquish any of their sovereignty. Germany is adapting to this and now plans to launch concrete climate protection projects with individual partner countries. Röttgen speaks of a new approach: “In Bonn we want to create a new level that will allow us not only to point towards CO2 targets from above, but also to launch projects from below that produce measurable successes.” This includes forest protection and more concrete cooperation in the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies. . .

Röttgen is already trying to move forward by emphasizing additional arguments beyond the 2-degree target — primarily based on economic reasoning. “We can live well and cheaply now at our children’s expense over the next 20 years or invest in long-term opportunities,” he says. German environmental technologies are an export hit, “one of the leading sources of prosperity that we have,” and crude oil and other natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce, he adds. But he still hasn’t made any significant headway in convincing the ministers in his coalition government — which is comprised of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party — that climate protection is not a hopeless issue plagued by sacrifice, but rather a “win-win-win opportunity” for industry, the environment and future generations. Here, too, he is fighting an uphill battle.

A technology-centered approach focused on “win-win-win” rather than sacrifice makes good sense, but it will probably take a while to take hold in Germany, and the EU more generally. But it will, eventually.