Less highway and more train? At Anne Will, the debaters are arguing about the most environmentally friendly transport concept. The two traffic light partners FDP and Green give nothing. “Welt” journalist Robin Alexander cannot understand the passionate dispute in the coalition.

That’s not going to work with the climate goals, says moderator Anne Will. In the transport sector, emissions would even increase. Christian Dürr from the FDP therefore offers CO2-neutral electric cars and CO2-neutral fuels as solutions. The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group does not want to tell the 46 million drivers of combustion cars that they have to leave their cars at home. With the right fuel, your own car could become CO2-neutral in no time. “Individual transport must not become a luxury for just a few people,” Dürr explains his plan.

“What doesn’t work is to rely on excuses,” counters Ricarda Lang, the Greens’ federal chairwoman. “That’s an excuse from what we really need.” Mobility expert Katja Diehl is also indignant: “You have to change your thinking: you can use a car, but you don’t have to own it.” That marks the front line of the evening.

“We can’t tell people you were unlucky. It doesn’t make any sense to rule out an option that doesn’t hurt anyone,” says FDP man Dürr, justifying his proposal to use CO2-neutral fuels. Thorsten Frei from the CDU immediately jumps to his side. “That has a lot to teach you. That has a lot of paternalism. I prefer to think in terms of incentives,” says the parliamentary manager of the Union parliamentary group, aiming for green ideology.

“E-fuels cannot currently be used in Germany. Politicians have to set clear guidelines,” says Frei, who in turn accuses mobility expert Diehl of saying that “every car is bad” for her. “You haven’t read my book,” Diehl replies and reports on vans and SUVs in Hamburg where she lives. “You think the state of emergency has broken out. I also have a right to quality of life.” But cars are okay if you have a disability.

“Politicians put on a show that the citizens don’t even have,” says journalist Robin Alexander. By that he means this politically motivated playing off of drivers and pedestrians against each other. “People walk, have a monthly ticket and a car.” These are no longer opposites. Incidentally, he himself is of course very much in favor of ailing motorway bridges being renovated and bottlenecks being eliminated.

“The motorways are still the lifelines of the economy and there are often no alternatives in rural areas,” recalls Frei. The construction of the motorway is important to the CDU politician because traffic jams are not environmentally friendly. “We are talking about road damage and getting rid of bottlenecks here. That’s where the turbo has to go!” demands Frei. “I have nothing against the car. I’m only against the car as it is used today,” clarifies mobility expert Diehl. Today only one person uses the car for 45 minutes a day.

Mobility expert Diehl is only now really getting going: “Building motorways to prevent traffic jams is like loosening your belt if you want to lose weight.” Ultimately, the question is whether people want to drive or whether they have to. She comes herself to the conclusion that many people prefer to leave the car at home if there is an alternative.

“It’s not about how do I get from the village to the city, but how do I get from village to village,” counters the CDU man Frei against Diehl’s understanding. “It is illusory to believe that we can get by without private transport.” Green politician Lang reminds us that not much happened in terms of climate protection during the CDU government. “There’s a lot left behind. It’s a mammoth task,” she criticized Frei’s party.

The fact is that the railway has recently lost a lot of its attractiveness. “You used to be able to set the clock using the train. How could it happen in Germany that the railways are so rotten?” asks journalist Alexander. While elsewhere the trains are getting faster and faster, trains in this country cannot go faster than 300 kilometers per hour because the rail network is no longer there. The wifi doesn’t work on board either.

“People are going crazy!” says Alexander. “The digitization and expansion of rail must be improved.” Alexander also doesn’t think much of the 45-euro ticket as the successor to the 9-euro ticket. After the FPD tank discount, the Greens should have “fried themselves an extra sausage”. “But such measures are too short-wave, too mood-intensive.” In other words: A fundamental concept would make more sense.