Focus on climate crisis
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Reporting on climate change is one of the major journalistic challenges of our time. The climate crisis is also one of the most important issues of humanity for SPIEGEL. For this reason, we support an international initiative that seeks to take a look this week: "Covering Climate Now" has been initiated by the Columbia Journalism Review and the Canadian newspaper "The Nation", with more than 200 media companies worldwide including the Guardian, El País, La Repubblica, The Times of India, Bloomberg or Vanity Fair. SPIEGEL is dedicating the cover story of the current issue to the climate crisis this week and every day pays special attention to mirror.de
For about 19 hours, the grand coalition climate coalition sat together in the Chancellery, negotiated the night and finally put together its cornerstones on 22 pages. Now the innumerable individual measures are to be executed and concretized on further, hundreds of pages.
Something's going on. This is a good signal, because for years there was a deadlock in climate policy. There was always something in between, from the euro crisis to the refugee crisis.
And now: all right?
Not long ago. For example, the estimated CO2 price of initially ten euros per tonne is too low to significantly reduce emissions. And the expansion of renewable energies, the GroKo acts little powerful.
Nevertheless, the governing parties have made decisive achievements last night: CDU, SPD and CSU want to make climate protection mandatory in Germany, set annual targets in laws. In the future, climate protection is no longer merely the intention of German government policy, but its duty.
Politics is the art of communication
If climate activists such as Luisa Neubauer of "Fridays for Future" call this coalition package a "scandal" even before its presentation, then that does justice to their driving role - because without their movement, it might not have come at this GroKo serve! - but it is a cheap review.
Politics is the art of the feasible. This is what the Chancellor stressed once again this Friday. This principle differentiates the policy from science and also from the "young people" who are taking to the streets worldwide this very day for climate protection.
Kay Nietfeld & / DPA
But politics is also the art of communication. Who wants to make a great reform, who would like to motivate the population to a common enterprise, needs a story. The Klein-Klein in Merkel's climate package needs a compelling story.
And that's still missing.
This became clear at the press conference after the marathon session. In particular, SPD Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz and CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer were tormented by their sentences. Kramp-Karrenbauer, for example, spoke woodenly of "a day that is not bad for the climate". It is hardly defensive.
Only CSU boss Markus Söder succeeded at times to link some higher-level messages with the presented climate mosaic. Not least that of a new beginning for the so badly battered coalition: The GroKo has been back as a "pacemaker for Germany".
Not programmatically relined
The problem of rampant speechlessness in German politics can not be overestimated as an obstacle to such a large-scale project as climate protection. After all, even a governing party has fallen on its feet due to a lack of communicative inability: the labor market reforms under red-green. The SPD pays to this day for the fact that they are not programmatically underpinned by the so-called Agenda 2010, in the truest sense of the word: they could not narrate the technotical-cold change. By the way, the responsible SPD secretary general at that time was called Olaf Scholz.
Together with Angela Merkel, he now gets a new chance. The Grand Coalition can show that it can make a big story out of the little one. That would not only serve the climate, because the people in the country would take it on the journey. But also the coalition parties, which could be erected on such a project.
Communication is also crucial because man-made climate change can not be countered by a few new laws, rules or incentives alone, but ultimately only by a change in consciousness in the entire population. The climate can only be helped if we citizens change our very personal behavior. Be it from conviction or adaptation.
It will be a busy, long road. A sense of optimism would not hurt.