Activist Greta Thunberg has spoken out against shutting down the three German nuclear power plants that are still in operation. Thunberg’s statement is a heavy blow for the Greens.

Imagine the Pope recommending to the German bishops that they should finally give women more opportunities to participate in the church and treat lesbians and gay men with more tolerance. The hardliners in the bishops’ conference would cross themselves three times in shock.

This is how the Greens have to go at the moment. Ironically, Greta Thunberg, the icon of the climate protection movement, spoke out unequivocally against shutting down the three German nuclear power plants that are still in operation. “If they’re already running, I think it would be a mistake to turn them off and turn to coal,” said the founder of the “Fridays for Future” movement on ARD.

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Thunberg is thus completely in line with the FDP, which wants the German nuclear power plants to continue to supply electricity at least until 2024. So it was no surprise that FDP leader Christian Lindner immediately agreed with Thunberg’s statement.

“I welcome the encouragement of the FFF initiator Greta Thunberg for the FDP position to leave our nuclear power plants on the grid,” wrote the Federal Minister of Finance on Twitter. There is no longer any talk of leaving climate policy to “the professionals”, as he scoffed at “Fridays for Future” three years ago.

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For the Greens, however, Thunberg’s statement is a heavy blow. Nobody can seriously deny that the burning of hard coal and lignite has a much greater impact on the climate than the operation of nuclear power plants. But the fight against nuclear power is part of the eco-party’s DNA. No arguments help against quasi-religious beliefs.

From the Greens’ point of view, phasing out nuclear energy was their most important success in the red-green coalition. They have shaped the public climate so clearly that the Germans – regardless of the climate – were happy to accept the continued operation of the coal-fired power plants, if only the nuclear reactors would finally be shut down.

Hardly anyone was interested in the fact that it would have been much more sensible from an ecological point of view to first put an end to the generation of energy from coal. The obvious was sacrificed on the altar of anti-nuclear ideology.

Irrespective of all the current energy problems, the Greens are clinging to the goal of completing the nuclear phase-out quickly – whatever the cost, with a fanaticism reminiscent of religious sects. So far, they have not been able to bring themselves to more than one reserve operation of two reactors – and that only until April 2023.

Your position that the Emsland power plant should be shut down at all costs at the turn of the year was also approved by a sufficiently large minority of Lower Saxony voters when they cast their votes. Which only strengthened the “hard core ecos” in their own ranks in their no to a real life extension.

And then, of all people, this 19-year-old Swede comes along, and nobody can doubt her commitment to climate policy, even if you don’t agree with everything she says and does. Your statements also coincided with a crisis meeting of the three coalition partners Olaf Scholz, Robert Habeck and Christian Lindner. You know your traffic light is about to run out of power. But Habeck apparently doesn’t dare to expect his own party to be more realistic about the nuclear power plant problem.

Greta Thunberg has achieved a lot with her commitment to save the climate, mobilized people in many countries and made politicians think. With her plea to rely on nuclear power rather than coal in the current emergency, she certainly did not want to get involved in the current traffic light fuss. She only said what everyone knows – and only the Greens and the SPD Left Party do not want to believe for ideological reasons.

Ten months after its launch, the red-green-yellow coalition is in a serious crisis. It is becoming increasingly clear that what does not go together governs together – especially in energy policy. Ironically, Greta Thunberg is now giving tailwind to the FDP. Thunberg