How Germany’s Green Party Lost Its Luster

Germany’s Green Party entered the government in 2021 with the best election showing of its history, establishing itself for the first time as a true mainstream party with the potential of one day even yielding a chancellor.

It won five cabinet positions in the three-party coalition, including the powerful economy and foreign ministries. It seemed to have a strong mandate to advance the country’s economic transition toward a greener future.

What a difference two years make. And a Russian invasion of Ukraine. And rising energy costs. And a host of missteps that some even within the party concede has stalled the Greens’ momentum.

Today the Greens are widely viewed as a drag on the government of the Social Democratic chancellor, Olaf Scholz, which one poll gave a mere 19 percent approval rating. The Greens have drawn withering attacks from even their own coalition partners. To their opponents, the Greens have overreached on their agenda and become the face of an out-of-touch environmental elitism that has alienated many voters, sending droves to the far right.

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