Grosse Koaltion, Small Klimapaket

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In Germany Friday September 20th 2019 was billed as the moment at which Angela Merkel’s Grosse Koalition would reclaim leadership in climate politics. There was even talk that green investment might serve as a justification for overriding the Schuldenbremse (debt brake)—the 2009 constitutional amendment which constrains government borrowing at both national and local levels.

A large part of the German public is mobilised. On September 20th perhaps as many as 1.4 million demonstrators were on the streets calling for climate action. But if they expected the ‘GroKo’ to answer their call, they were to be disappointed. The Klimapaket (climate package) which emerged at midday after a night of intense negotiations fell far short.

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