Do you feel that Germany can lead the European Union by example with the introduction of the Green New Deal? How will the Green New Deal change the priorities of Germany's agricultural and economic policies?
Yes, there is a strong link between economic change and international ecological change. Fixing the environment will be expensive now, but doing nothing will be far more expensive in the long term. National and international rules can be set to spur competition as a means of producing innovation, which then needs money for research to further support innovation. We also need measures to reduce energy use and emission outputs of buildings. Blue collars need to be replaced with green collars or a blue/green alliance should be established. The Greens recognize the traditionally strong industrial backbone of Germany. We also see the need to provide financing for innovation to small and middle-sized businesses. This would create a totally new system, and would change the way we industrialize on a more ecologically oriented foundation.
In your opinion, what was the greatest challenge in developing a sustainable agricultural policy in Germany or Europe that will meet the demands of food security as well as reduce CO2 emissions in order to combat climate change? Will meeting these demands prove too challenging for governments looking to establish a sustainable economy?
We must bring together international economics and climate change; we are in the midst of multiple crises, not just one. This is an economic crisis, financial crisis, climate crisis, and a food crisis. Priorities must be set that incorporate green technology. The pledges of funds to developing countries are extremely modest, while there is a 16 million dollar tax break for hotels alone. We need to end the link between growth and resource use, and move instead to low-carbon economics. Prosperity and GDP should not be seen as the same thing, as they often are. It is not possible to sustain indefinite growth, nor should we strive to achieve this goal. We need to redefine prosperity and growth, and measure them differently. GDP measures neither our quality of life nor the future.
In the past, you have criticized the German government for their lack of action concerning climate change. Which aspects of the fight to stop climate change have they been ignoring? What do you feel must be done to stop the effects of global climate change?
It is very important to look beyond Copenhagen. We must be pro-active; we cannot wait, and we must ask ourselves 'what are we obliged to do?' and find ways to do it. We are living in an unregulated, short-sighted globalized economy dominated by financial industries. There needs to be a top runner approach implemented where the most energy effective appliance in a category sets a binding benchmark for consumption for appliances within that category.