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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Verdi Federal Congress: For more social climate justice

The service union Verdi is seeking solidarity with the climate movement. At the same time, Verdi warns that it should be designed socially.

Frank Werneke, Verdi federal chairman, waves.

Frank Werneke, old and new Verdi federal chairman, at the Verdi Federal Congress in Berlin Photo: Jörg Carstensen/dpa

BERLIN taz | The service union Verdi wants to intensify its activities to combat the climate crisis. “Together with Fridays for Future, the environmental and social associations and the social movements, we are striving for a broad social alliance for a social-ecological restructuring of society,” said chairman Frank Werneke on Tuesday at the Verdi Federal Congress in Berlin.

The climate crisis is “ubiquitous,” said Werneke, who was re-elected on Monday evening, in his keynote speech. “Climate protection and the restructuring of our economy and society must therefore have the highest priority – also to protect employees.”

Germany has set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045. “The truth is, however, that in many respects we are not doing well in Germany,” criticized Werneke. Specifically, he complained that the expansion of wind power, photovoltaics and the necessary networks is not yet at the necessary speed.

Verdi boss attacks Wissing

At the same time, Verdi warns that Climate protection socially designed. The gradual increase in CO decided by the federal government2price is “a very capitalist concept,” says Werneke. Because without compensation, people with low and middle incomes would be more burdened.

However, it is “wrong that the people who have the least are exposed to rising CO2-Price are the most exposed because they do not have the opportunity to produce electricity themselves on the roof and plug in the electric car in the carport ‘for a fee’.

Verdi does not accept that the climate money promised by the traffic light coalition to provide relief is now in danger of disappearing into the drawer. The additional income from CO2-Prices would rather have to be paid out to citizens in full and on a socially staggered basis. “That’s the only way someone can socially just climate change “successful,” said Werneke to great applause. The energy price brakes for electricity and gas would also have to be extended beyond April 30, 2024.

Werneke is critical of industrial electricity prices

Werneke was critical of the discussion about possible discounts industrial electricity price. He rejects massive energy price subsidies only for heavy industry and without any regulations to limit profits. There is also a need for support from private households, other businesses and, above all, social institutions.

The Verdi boss sharply attacked Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP). Although the CO2-Emissions in road traffic remain high, there is still a lack of a reliable reduction plan. “While the Federal Transport Minister is now talking about openness to technology and e-fuels, the hard work for a transport turnaround remains undone,” says Werneke. The need for action is huge: “We finally need a mobility transition that deserves the name,” he demanded.

The Verdi Federal Congress meets until Friday.

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