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Ugly Fight Over Climate Bill Exposes Cracks in German Coalition

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BERLIN — Germany’s coalition government was always an awkward trio of center-left Social Democrats, climate-conscious Greens and pro-business Free Democrats. Yet in the heady days after their election victory in 2021, the parties vowed to stick to a tradition of consensus-driven politics, keeping the drama behind closed doors.

Those doors have now swung open.

In recent days, the parties have engaged in an unusual level of public sniping over a wonkish bill with the seemingly humble aim of reducing fossil fuel emissions from heaters in homes and other buildings.

While the stakes would seem relatively minor, the level of vitriol has been anything but, reflecting a new era in which Germany’s once-staid politics have turned more fractious.

No one is predicting a collapse of the coalition. But the public sparring has raised questions over how Germany will meet commitments to Europe’s climate goals — as well as Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ability to maintain effective stewardship of Europe’s most powerful economy.

“It is critical the federal government demonstrates its ability…

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