Germany elections : Climate change among main issues

After the devastating floods in July that killed nearly 200 people, climate change has become one of the key issues in Germany’s election that takes place on Sunday 26 September 2021.

A flashpoint for this issue is the Garzweiler Mine in Germany’s industrial heartland state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

This massive open-cast lignite mine produces 35 million tons of brown coal a year. The mine has already displaced more than 20 villages in the past 60 years and 6 more are set to disappear so that the lignite beneath can be extracted.

The mine is scheduled to continue operation for another 17 years until the phase out of coal-fired power plants in Germany is completed in 2038.

Residents and campaigners are calling for the mine to be shut down much sooner to help Germany meet its climate targets.

The 2038 phase out date for coal has become an important issue in the elections. The CDU are sticking to that date, whereas the main opposition party the SPD want to bring it forward to 2034. The Greens are pushing for a more urgent phase out by 2030.

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