07.07.2022, Berlin: Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Bundesminister für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, steht zwischen Katharina Dröge, Bundestags Fraktionsvorsitzende von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen und Franziska Brantner, Staatssekretärin im Wirtschaftsministerium bei einer Fotoaktion der Fraktion der Grünen im Deutschen Bundestag nach der Abstimmung zum Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz. Auf der Tagesordnung stehen u.a.: mehrerer Gesetze zu Erneuerbaren Energien und Windkraft, Beschleunigung der Bundeswehr-Beschaffung. Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

On Thursday, the Bundestag passed an extensive legislative package for a faster expansion of green electricity from wind and sun in Germany. Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said the package was the largest in the energy sector in recent years, probably decades. This would implement necessary and urgently needed changes.

Shortly before the parliamentary summer break, the Bundestag is still dealing with a number of topics this Thursday. Parliament will not meet again until the beginning of September as planned. Whether there will be a special session in the summer because of the numerous crises is open.

Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) does not expect it: “An event that would necessitate immediate legislative intervention is unlikely and nobody can foresee it. In any case, I have no visionary abilities,” said Kubicki of the “Rheinische Post”. The parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, had previously said: “There can be situations where we could of course need a special session.” She advised her parliamentary group colleagues to be easily accessible.

But one thing is certain: The schedule is tight, agenda items are scheduled until early Friday morning. An excerpt:

The legislative package for the expansion of renewable energies was the first item on the agenda of the Bundestag on Thursday morning – and was therefore the first to be passed. The proposed legislation still has to pass the Bundesrat. The share of electricity generated from renewable energies in electricity consumption is to be increased to at least 80 percent by 2030; it is currently just under 50 percent. In order to achieve the goal, 2 percent of the entire federal area should be designated for onshore wind turbines, which is more than double.

The federal states are now to be legally obliged to provide more space. Different targets apply to the individual countries because there are different requirements for the expansion of wind energy. This had stalled in recent years, mainly because too little space had been designated.

Habeck spoke of a fair and just distribution. At the same time, he said that the countries would be held accountable. The expansion goals would have to be shared in a joint effort.

The expansion of renewable energy plays a key role in the federal government’s strategy to achieve climate targets. In addition, dependence on fossil fuels should be reduced in the medium and long term.

A central lever for the expansion should be that renewable energies are in the overriding public interest in the future and serve public safety. This is intended to speed up the approval process and facilitate court proceedings.

In the second item on the agenda, the Bundestag lifted the immunity of AfD MP Stephan Protschka. The state chairman of the Bavarian AfD is the administrator of a chat group in which members of his party are said to have expressed plans for a coup.

Among other things, the committee is to deal with errors in the withdrawal of the German armed forces from Afghanistan in 2021. The German soldiers had left the country after almost 20 years. Then, in August, Germany took part in an international evacuation mission after the militant Islamist Taliban regained power in the country. In June there was broad support for the establishment of the committee.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl (SPD), called for a thorough review in the newspapers of the Funke media group (Thursday). Among other things, it must be investigated “what could have been done to better protect the Afghan local forces and get them out of the country earlier”. The processing of the last year in Afghanistan is an “important building block” of the deployment balance.

The scheduled debate on the flood disaster a year ago is also about dealing with mistakes. In July 2021, more than 100 people died in the floods, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. There was damage in the billions.

The environmental policy spokeswoman for the Union faction, Anja Weisgerber (CSU), called for minimum standards for the creation of hazard and risk maps for local heavy rain events as well as heavy rain early warning systems. In the newspapers of the editorial network Germany, she also pushed for a “national climate adaptation law for public services and future provision”. This must take into account the “legitimate interests of states, municipalities, farmers, landowners and other stakeholders”.

In mid-June, the cabinet nominated the journalist Ferda Ataman for the head of the federal anti-discrimination agency – since then the personnel has been the subject of controversy. Opposition politicians from the Union and AfD, but also individual representatives of the governing party FDP deny her suitability. Among other things, you describe Ataman as a “left-wing activist” who stands for “divisive identity politics”. SPD leader Saskia Esken speaks of a “slanderous campaign”. But the majority for Ataman stands well.

Also on the agenda are debates on the chaos at airports, the poverty report and the Ceta Free Trade Agreement with Canada.