Green Supporters Feel Betrayed by Climate Change Policies
Greens face mass exodus as Lützerath eviction advances mine expansion
As the supporters of The Greens rally from their loss in the battle for Lützerath, the leader of the German Fridays for Future climate movement, Luisa Neubauer, worries that many of her supporters will turn away from the party.
Climate activists had worked hard to prevent the town’s demolition in the mining area of North Rhine-Westphalia; however, the police only resulted in their expulsion amidst the expansion of the open-cast brown coal mine.
In October of 2022, the Green Mona Neubaur, Economy Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Robert Habeck, Federal Economics Minister, negotiated an agreement with energy giant RWE – a deal that allowed the Garzweiler opencast mine to expand in exchange for the phasing out of coal by 2030, thereby averting the demolition in five towns, including Lützerath.
The agreement has been heavily criticized by members of the Green youth wing, who view the abandonment of climate justice ideals as a betrayal. Several activists have compared the Greens to the Social Democrats and their welfare reforms from 2003, which those of the party viewed as a broken electoral promise.
Gero Neugebauer, political scientist, believes that in spite of this lost battle, the Greens remain the party with the best reputation for climate and environmental protection in the nation.
Green chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock had placed great emphasis on the importance of climate protection in the 2021 general election; many fear it is this promise that could face tarnishing if the government fails to meet their emission targets.