Crowds filled the streets of Erding in Bavaria at the weekend to protest against a law promoted by the Greens to outlaw new oil and gas-powered heating systems in favour of heat pumps. The law is in draft form. If passed it would ban new fossil fuel-powered systems from next year but whether Olaf Scholz’s coalition can get it through the Bundestag is now in doubt. Bavaria’s Christian Democrat state premier is against it and so is the hard-right AfD. Neither is in the coalition but the AfD’s approval rating drew level recently in polls with that of Scholz’s social democrats, whose popularity along with the Greens’ is slumping. The heat pump plan is a response to the war in Ukraine, but voters aren’t buying it even in the heat of summer. The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol has a suggestion: bring your nuclear power stations back online.
Photograph Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images