Tightened motion adopted: dgb relents on climate

After protests, the DGB’s executive board reaffirms its commitment to the German climate protection target. It thus prevents open dispute at the federal congress.

In front of the conference hotel of the DGB Federal Congress, activists present the signatures collected via the Campact petition platform WeAct Photo: Jacob Huber/Campact

In the end, the pressure was too much: to prevent an open conflict with an uncertain outcome at the ongoing DGB national congress, the executive board of the German Federation of Trade Unions has reinserted a commitment to the German climate goals into its basic motion on climate.

In the draft sent to delegates, such a commitment had been missing – in contrast to earlier internal drafts (https://amarex.ru reported). With an amendment published on Tuesday, the DGB executive board then largely returned to the original version. The DGB and its member unions now support the Climate Protection Plan 2050, with which the German government has adopted concrete CO2 reduction targets for individual sectors. This plan represents "a sensible basis against which the path to a low-carbon economy can be discussed," the new motion states.

A petition had been drafted against the version initially sent out, and within a short time more than 45,000 union members had signed it. On Wednesday morning, activists from the protest network Campact handed over the signatures to DGB deputy chairman Stefan Korzell. He explained that the union supports the climate targets, but is pushing for a socially responsible implementation.

Energy union against "shutdown" resolutions

By changing its mind, the DGB executive board has prevented a fight vote at the national congress in Berlin. In the run-up, there had been signals from the service sector union Verdi in particular that it would not support the original motion. The energy union IG BCE, on the other hand, continues to oppose Germany’s climate targets. "Germany’s climate policy cannot be made more successful with shutdown resolutions," it said in a paper that IG BCE displayed at the congress.

However, there was no open opposition to the amendment from the IG BCE in the evening debate. As a member of the proposal advisory committee, IG BCE executive board member Petra Reinbold-Knape spoke of a "workable compromise" that had been found after "intensive, collegial debate." In the end, 249 of 355 delegates voted in favor of the amended motion in a secret ballot.

The author of the petition, Oliver Wagner, was satisfied with this. "It would have been fatal if the DGB had abandoned the climate targets," he explained. A mixed assessment came from Greenpeace: "The DGB is on the right track in reaffirming the Paris climate targets and the German government’s climate protection plan," said spokesman Christoph von Lieven. However, the position is nevertheless "too pusillanimous," Lieven criticized. "The German climate protection targets for 2030 are not a basis for discussion, but minimum targets to implement the Paris climate agreement."

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