‘No bullshit,’ Germany is failing on climate change, says vice chancellor

At Berlin conference, Robert Habeck laments 'aggressive' campaign against him.

‘No bullshit,’ Germany is failing on climate change, says vice chancellor

BERLIN — German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has warned that green goals are not being met and said that support for climate protection appears to be wavering.

“No bullshit: We are not on track, it has to be said quite clearly,” Habeck, of the Green Party that is a member of the governing coalition, said Wednesday at the re:publica conference in Berlin.

After praising the German government’s expansion of renewable energy, Habeck said that even if all current measures now being planned are implemented, it would not be possible to stay below the lower 1.5-degree warming limit of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Habeck emphasized that politics alone cannot fix climate issues; “We started far too late for that.” He said that while the government must “really pull through politically now,” it must also work to ensure popular support for the policies.

“It has to be said […] that we are just perhaps moving away from a social majority for change,” he warned. “We have been further along as a society […] than we are at the moment.”

The Green Party’s approval ratings have decreased to 14 percent from 23 percent last summer, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls.

Habeck’s personal collapse in popularity is linked largely to an unpopular heating law at the core of the Greens’ efforts to transition German households to renewable energies, along with a cronyism affair in his economy ministry.

Habeck also hit out against a “campaign” targeting him and the heating law. “It was so loud. So aggressive. Everyone was just yelling,” Habeck said.