Lazy eyes listen
Stricter building standards in the name of addressing climate change may result in a violent backlash benefiting the “far right,” according to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner in an interview released on Tuesday.
The energy performance directive is a critical component of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s planned ‘Green Deal’ climate legislative package. It would require older structures to be renovated in order to “decarbonize” the housing supply by 2050.
Lindner condemned the idea as “enormously dangerous” in an interview with Politico on Monday evening, saying it may jeopardise “social peace” because “people might get the impression that the policy makes it harder for them to live in their own homes and be able to pay for it.”
Lindner heads the Free Democratic Party (FDP), a junior partner in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ‘traffic light’ ruling coalition. Last week, its parliamentary majority in the Bundestag pushed through a controversial heating bill that banned oil and gas systems in favor of “cleaner” heat pumps.
Lindner told the source that the popular outcry to the heating bill served as a “lesson” regarding the EU plan, and that green mandates and the rising corpus of EU laws “undoubtedly play a role” in the rise of groups like Alternative for Germany (AfD). According to recent polls, the AfD is Germany’s second most popular party, with up to 22% support.
According to the Brussels-based grouping, housing accounts for 35% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and must be made more energy-efficient in order to fulfil the 2050 climate goals.
Lindner would prefer that the money be invested in other climate-friendly projects, such as the EU’s energy infrastructure. He encouraged von der Leyen to “pause” the climate agenda in the midst of the crisis.
After imposing an embargo on Russia, the EU, particularly Germany, has seen energy prices increase. Furthermore, the Nord Stream pipelines, which supply Germany with Russian natural gas, were blown up in September. No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions, which journalist Seymour Hersh blamed on the US administration, while other US media sites blamed Ukraine.
According to unidentified staffers who talked with Politico, Von der Leyen will deliver a “state of the European Union” statement on Wednesday and will reiterate her support to the “Green Deal.” She intends to emphasise how the programme would help EU industry and to promise “to make sure that the implementation phase is done in the most collaborative way we can imagine.”