With “Anne Will” the guests were divided. Some say we are on the right track towards climate neutrality, others say we are forgetting about people.
“Ban on oil and gas heating, out for the combustion engine – is that really well thought out?” Anne Will titled her show. The idea that the editors were hoping for a serious answer to this question is at least irritating. Almost as much as the guest list, which was quite obviously a kind of proxy for the protagonists who were actually at odds.
Guests at “Anne Will” were:
- Gitta Connemann (CDU), MdB and Federal Chairwoman of the SME and Economic Union (MIT)
- Henrike Roßbach, deputy head of the parliamentary office “Süddeutsche Zeitung”
- Omid Nouripour (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), party leader
- Christian Dürr (FDP), chairman of the parliamentary group
- Stephan Weil (SPD), Prime Minister of Lower Saxony
“We’re at the beginning of the deliberations,” Omid Nouripour tried to calm down the atmosphere a little right from the start. The plans of the Green Economics Minister, which stipulate that no new oil and gas heating systems may be put into operation from January 1st, 2024, must first be discussed thoroughly. It was right to come around the corner with the ban earlier than planned, also because gas and oil heating could last up to 40 years. A later ban is simply far too late for the planned climate neutrality of Germany by 2045. But we have to find ways “how we can make it affordable”. According to Nouripour, it is important to state that no one wants to forbid everyone to heat with oil or gas, all devices currently in use can still be used and operated.
Have a gas boiler installed quickly
Gitta Connemann reported that she had held talks with craftsmen in her constituency last week, all of which aimed to ensure that people would experience this form of climate policy as directed against them. The recommendation of the craftsmen is up-to-date, everyone who is currently building or renovating should quickly have a thermal bath installed in 2023 because the purchase price is significantly lower than for a heat pump. The heat pumps are currently not a climate-friendly alternative because, on the one hand, they consume a lot of electricity, which is not CO2-neutral and, on the other hand, cannot be obtained within the deadline. The delivery times are too long, there are not enough craftsmen who can install the pumps. “Climate protection only works with people and not against them,” said Connemann, complaining that the guidelines currently being considered would completely ignore people. Many could not pay for these innovations.
Stay open to technology
For cost and procurement reasons, the FDP man Christian Dürr campaigned to remain “open to technology”. He repeated this word quite persistently over the course of the evening, but mainly advertised “H20-ready” variants. “We have to think broader,” Dürr demanded, repeatedly citing Christian Lindner and his “assembly hall,” to which the plans for the ban had to be returned again. Basically, the FDP is already there, with renewable energies and also with the ban on gas and oil heating. But in difficult situations you have to “drive on sight” and therefore neither bring concrete data nor just heat pumps into the conversation.
The journalist Henrike Roßbach also criticized at least the concrete date line. One cannot “force with a crowbar” what was neglected 15 years ago. A similar step was taken in Norway at the time, but the ban was not linked to a rigid deadline. The turnaround went much more smoothly there.
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You have to take people with you
In general, the “progress coalition” is in a difficult situation, they want to get things moving and be different from the grand coalition of recent years. In the last year and a half, however, the war against Ukraine and Corona intervened, so that there would now be more pressure behind the innovations. According to Roßbach, Robert Habeck cannot be blamed for the fact that a “transformation” is now being pushed ahead in a way “like we haven’t seen for 15 years”. Stefan Weil also agreed, but pointed out that “now a step and a half too fast”. “I think it’s absolutely right that the discussion has started,” says Weil, but you have to take people with you. And heat is one of the “most complicated topics” of all, which is why there would be a particularly large number of discussion points here.
Little gain in knowledge with “Anne Will”
The positions were predictable, the gain in knowledge was small. The Union calls for funding programs, the traffic light does not really know where the money should come from. Because, journalist Roßbach and FPD man Dürr have a point, it is time for the government to get by with the budget it is entitled to without incurring new debts. “Keep it up” like in the last three and a half years cannot be an alternative. And so the budget question is currently also being disputed, even if Green politician Nouripour assured that everything can be solved, just as this government has solved all other disputes well so far. The credo of the evening seemed to be not to make people even more insecure.
- Energy label of the EU: According to Stefan Weil, the discussion about a possible energy label for residential buildings at EU level must be linked to “realistic goals within a realistic timeframe”, especially for “people who don’t have money”. Because many people could afford energy-efficient renovations to the extent as they are demanded, financially not at all. And yet such specifications are necessary for a climate-neutral future.
- Social responsibility or climate protection: CDU politician Connemann demanded that politicians should never play these two goals off against each other. However, the talk at Anne Will was clearly more in the direction of climate protection.
- eFuels yes or no: All German car manufacturers apart from Porsche agree: eFuels are not an interesting market for them. Nevertheless, the debate as to whether eFuels could be an attractive alternative to e-cars was very passionate. Christian Dürr in particular promoted rural areas with fewer e-charging stations for this car variant and wished that the CDU would promote it to EU President Ursula von der Leyen. Gitta Connemann described her clear line with the term “technology openness” that was used a lot that evening.
Unfortunately, anyone who lived in Anne Will’s talk for an hour only had the feeling at the end that the parties wanted to put themselves in the foreground. Of course, the Greens and the FDP never tire of picking on the previous government. And she, for her part, rejects many innovations and points out that the reference to the past 16 years is slowly becoming tiring. Some assure you that you are on the right track, others are not convinced. At least we’re on our way, say some. In the end, however, every decision should be one that serves the good of the environment and people, and not caress any politician’s ego on talk shows.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.