Greens Support Coalition’s 2022 Nuclear Phase-Out

On Saturday, a majority at the party convention of Bündnis ’90/The Greens voted in favour of a recommendation for the parliamentary group of the party to vote Yes in on the government’s proposed German nuclear phase-out in 2022 on 30 June 2011.

The decision came after a 6-hour long controversial debate. After the nuclear incident in Fukushima, Japan, the Conservative/Liberal coalition government under Chancellor Merkel reversed its nuclear policy. Instead of extending the life span of the 17 German nuclear power plants, as agreed in late October 2010, the government wants to to phase out nuclear power by 2022.

Bündnis ’90/The Greens, which had always advocated a nuclear phase-out (and had enacted the 2002 exit amendment of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) when in power together with the Social Democrats) had called for an even faster shut down of the nuclear plants after Fukushima, demanding closures in 2017.

Despite the recommendation to vote for the 2021/2022 shut down of the nuclear plants, the party convention asked the parliamentary group to do everything possible to achieve a faster phase-out. In addition, it asked for the phase-out to be enacted in the Basic Law (German Constitution).

As a consequence, a clear majority for the government’s proposed amendment of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG – 17/6070) seems certain. However, it is not yet clear how many opposition votes the government will receive regarding the other enegy package bills. This is especially important in the Bundesrat, the legislative body that represents the federal states, as the government does not holding a majority in the Bundesrat. Bundesrat will vote on the legislative package on 8 July 2011. Currently committee meetings are still taking place, with a meeting of the Committee for Economics and Technology being scheduled for today.

Source: Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen, Rheinische Post

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