There’s no doubt about it: In Australia, the last conservative government was voted out of office because it rejected climate protection, and the Social Democrats were elected because they promised more climate protection.
In the U.S., Donald Trump also missed re-election because he courted climate change deniers too much, according to U.S. election researchers. Jo Biden promised significantly more climate protection in the last presidential election campaign and won the election.
But so far, Biden had not really achieved anything in climate policy and constantly received worse poll ratings.
Will this predicament change for him now that his administration has scored a narrow victory over the climate-loving Republicans with a $370 billion program? Will he be able to turn things around with his new climate package – the largest climate change package in U.S. history? “Make America green again” – headlined the TAZ.
After all, greenhouse gases in the U.S. are now to be reduced by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 2005. Perhaps the most positive news of 2022, reaching this goal could also be a global breakthrough for climate protection. Solar and wind energy projects are to receive special support via tax benefits. Former Vice President Al Gore has been fighting for more climate protection in the USA since 1992. But it is only now – 30 years later – that he is getting belated satisfaction from the new law. Climate protection policy needs a lot of staying power. Only the mid-term elections in November 2022 will show whether and how voters in the USA will honor the new climate protection policy. Jo Biden will have to wait a few more weeks.
In Germany, the Greens’ climate policy helped the party roughly double its last federal election result in the 2021 federal election and still score points with the majority of voters with its expansion plans for wind and solar energy. Current polls show that the Greens are only just behind the CDU/CSU with around 25 percent, but well ahead of the SPD.
The Bavarian state government under Prime Ministers Horst Seehofer and Markus Söder has completely failed in the energy transition. For many years, they have called power lines “monster structures” and rejected wind turbines as a “blight on the landscape. Only in the expansion of solar energy is Bavaria in the lead. Now nuclear energy is supposed to do the trick in Bavaria. An indictment of the state government.
In the USA, the largest climate protection package in US history has now been passed. Admittedly, it is smaller than Biden originally promised. Instead of 52% CO2 reduction as originally planned, it is now only 40%. Democratic Senator Manchin has held up the passage for many months. It should be noted that Manchin made millions in the coal business. But since the Democrats have only a one-vote majority in the Senate itself, his approval was absolutely necessary. Hence the compromise. But measured against the EU’s current climate apathy, this compromise in the U.S. is nevertheless probably the most positive news of the year. Once again, American democracy has shown that it is capable of acting, because it is capable of compromise, even in difficult situations.
In global climate diplomacy, the Americans can now take a more offensive stance. This will hopefully be demonstrated at the next world climate summit in Egypt, in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.