October 01, 2019
AfD now going for the climate change deniers
We think this is a potentially important story. The AfD has discovered the electric car as its next big policy area. We are not surprised. Germany is unprepared for the shifts in policy needed to meet its climate targets, and there are millions of people in the country whose jobs depend on the fuel-powered car, directly or indirectly.
We think this could prove to be a more fruitful policy area for the AfD than either the euro or immigration, because climate change directly threatens the livelihoods of millions of German workers. This is a cultural war, with the Greens and the AfD occupying opposite ends of the spectrum. Your average German is very defensive about diesel technology, and sceptical about the benefits of electric cars. We have previously noted a widespread, but nowadays outdated, statistic that is frequent cited in Germany: that the electric car had a higher carbon footprint than the diesel car.
The AfD is in a better position to lead a very aggressive pro-diesel strategy than other parties, except the FDP, as they all at least pretend to agree with the climate targets. But the FDP is not well equipped to capture working-class voters worried about technological change.
As a start of its campaign the AfD has produced three youtube film documentaries criticising what it considers excessively ambitious climate targets. The first of the documents concerns the diesel car - or, as the AfD put it, the murder of diesel. The party’s official strategy on climate change is not to deny it outright, but to deny its causes, especially the role of CO2 emissions.