Far-right groups in Germany target climate policies

Amid concerns over the cost of climate initiatives, far-right political elements in Germany, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), have intensified their attacks on green policies, attributing societal discontent to the economic implications of these environmental measures.

Ajit Niranjan reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • In Görlitz and other regions, the AfD and movements like Free Saxony rally against green policies, associating them with overregulation and loss of personal freedoms.
  • Despite the growth of far-right sentiments, studies reveal that there is no widespread backlash against climate measures, but rather a deep political polarization.
  • Researchers note that opposition to environmental policies in Germany is more about political ideology than economic impact, with AfD supporters particularly disinterested in proactive climate action.

Key quote:

"Our main takeaway is that there’s no widespread green backlash."

— Markus Kollberg, political scientist at Humboldt University Berlin

Why this matters:

The AfD’s rhetoric often frames ambitious environmental targets, such as those set by the European Union, as overreaches into national governance. This could potentially sway public opinion against necessary measures to combat climate change, thereby undermining progress on environmental goals that are crucial to global efforts to limit temperature rises as stipulated in the Paris Agreement.

Meanwhile in the U.S.: EHN’s Peter Dykstra argued last year that the Supreme Court has taken a brazen anti-regulatory turn. It’s our planet and health that will suffer.

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