The party leader made the first serve himself: At the Epiphany meeting of the FDP in the Stuttgart Opera, a cheerful Christian Lindner demanded that Germany, “this country of engineers and technicians”, now needs a “technology freedom law”. So that “everything that is possible can also be developed with us”. The green coalition partner in Berlin should have pricked up their ears by then. Because when the FDP says “openness to technology”, they usually also mean technologies that make the Greens feel uneasy.
And indeed: On Monday of this week, FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai and his party colleague and Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger presented a new executive committee decision. The title: “Enshrine a technology freedom principle in law.” The content: several red shawls for the Greens.
And again and again the famous “E-Fuels”
The FDP now wants to have a commission of experts officially decide whether to extend the life of the remaining nuclear power plants beyond April 15; because “in the short term” nuclear power is part of securing the energy supply. For the future, on the other hand, “the chances of nuclear fusion” in Germany are to be “entirely” used; The liberals also want to at least have research done on mini-nuclear power plants.
Openness is also required for domestic natural gas. In total there are “more than 32 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves” in Germany, for example in the North Sea and in Lower Saxony. “We have to use this domestic potential,” the paper says, “including through fracking.” This extraction method involves forcing a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into deep rock, creating fissures through which the gas can escape. This is currently banned in Germany, but the FDP wants to lift the ban. The Greens, however, oppose fracking almost as passionately as they do nuclear power.
The Greens also think little of the FDP’s desire for a future for the combustion engine via e-fuels, which was repeated in the resolution. More tricky for them, however, is the requirement to allow the underground storage of captured CO₂ from industrial processes (CCS). The Green Economics Minister Robert Habeck recently visited Norway to see how this can work; Climate experts consider CCS necessary to achieve climate goals. The FDP now wants to allow this technology in Germany on an industrial scale in the short term. One should not “rely on other countries, such as Norway”. However, the Greens had always been against CCS in Germany in the past.
Some demand, others demand
In the FDP it is said that their own advances are purely based on content; it is not about tormenting the coalition partner. Conversely, the Greens naturally also claim this for themselves. Nevertheless, the Greens and the Liberals continue to stand in opposition to and in each other’s way in a number of policy areas. The balls fly back and forth like in table tennis, according to the motto: You won’t get the next one!
Some are calling for CCS and fracking in their own country (ping), others want to exempt roads from the planning acceleration and ban biofuels from plants (pong). Some are calling for the sectoral targets for climate protection to be abandoned (ping). The others are demanding that FDP Transport Minister Volker Wissing finally meet his sector targets (Pong).
When the coalition committee meets this Thursday, there will be a lot to discuss. Finally, according to the coalition agreement, the committee prepares “the guidelines for the work of the coalition”.