German Greens agree to start formal talks on new government

  • In US
  • 2021-10-17 14:24:41Z
  • By Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) - Germany's Green party gave its blessing Sunday to opening formal coalition talks on a new government that would speed up the country's exit from coal-fueled power and the expansion of renewable energy.

A congress of the environmentalist party signed off on negotiators' recommendation to open full-fledged talks on a government led by center-left Social Democrat Olaf Scholz. The pro-business Free Democrats, who usually ally with the center-right, would be the coalition's third partner. Their leadership is expected to give its approval on Monday.

The proposed coalition could be "a big win for the Greens, for Germany," co-leader Robert Habeck told delegates. He added that "in the coming government, the Greens can take on more responsibility for our country than ever - we will be drivers of major transformations."

A preliminary agreement after initial exploratory talks calls for Germany to accelerate its exit from coal-fueled power, currently due by 2038, so it "ideally" happens by 2030. That is a key Green demand. It also pledges to speed up "drastically" Germany's expansion of renewable energy generation, but says there will be no overall speed limit on Germany's highways, which the Free Democrats opposed.

There has been some criticism from climate activists that the plans so far don't go far enough, but little of that was heard at Sunday's meeting.

The prospective partners say they won't raise taxes, something the Social Democrats and Greens had wanted for top earners and the Free Democrats opposed, but will step up and facilitate investment in combating climate change and promoting digitization. Details of how the coalition would finance its plans are expected to be a central question in the upcoming talks.

Scholz hopes that his new government, which would send outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Union bloc into opposition, will be in place by Christmas. Scholz's Social Democrats finished narrowly ahead of the Union to win Germany's Sept. 26 election, with the Greens third and the Free Democrats fourth.

The Greens are the only prospective partner that so far has pledged to put a possible coalition agreement to a ballot of its entire membership.

This would be the Greens' second time as part of a German government. They were the junior partners from 1998-2005 in a two-party center-left coalition under then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.


Follow AP's coverage of Germany's transition to a new government at


Follow all AP stories on climate change issues at


More Related News

Scientists slam German tabloid
Scientists slam German tabloid's pandemic coverage
  • US
  • 2021-12-06 20:46:44Z

A group representing Germany's main scientific organizations has accused the country's biggest-selling newspaper of contributing to public hostility against ...

Scholz taps epidemiologist as new German health minister
Scholz taps epidemiologist as new German health minister
  • US
  • 2021-12-06 10:17:49Z

Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz announced Monday that an epidemiologist who has been a prominent voice of caution in the coronavirus pandemic will be...

Scholz to take charge of Germany as Merkel era ends
Scholz to take charge of Germany as Merkel era ends
  • World
  • 2021-12-06 02:02:48Z

Germany's parliament will officially elect Olaf Scholz on Wednesday as the country's next chancellor, bringing the curtain down on Angela Merkel's 16-year...

Germany plans to make vaccination compulsory for some jobs - draft
Germany plans to make vaccination compulsory for some jobs - draft
  • US
  • 2021-12-05 19:58:28Z

The incoming German government wants to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory from March 16 for people working in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical...

Germany: incoming minister advises against Christmas travel
Germany: incoming minister advises against Christmas travel
  • US
  • 2021-12-05 09:41:17Z

Germany's incoming transport minister is advising people against traveling over Christmas as the country tries to stem a wave of coronavirus infections...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US