Mith the demand for the largest reforestation program in the history of the state, the Hessian Greens want to go into the state election campaign. The Minister for Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing, Tarek Al-Wazir, announced at a general meeting of the Greens on Saturday in Frankfurt that if he were elected Prime Minister, around 30 million new trees would be planted in Hesse by 2030. This would make an important contribution in the fight against climate change and for the environment. So far, according to the state, there are around 468 million trees in Hesse that are thicker than seven centimeters.
Al-Wazir reiterated his ambition to become the first Green Party head of government in Hesse. That is a realistic goal in a three-way battle with the top candidates of the CDU (Prime Minister Boris Rhein) and the SPD (Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser).
According to their top candidate Al-Wazir, the Greens, who have governed Hesse together with the CDU for almost ten years, want to go into the election campaign without making a coalition statement and are aiming to become the strongest faction in the state parliament in the October 8 election. In a survey at the beginning of June, the Greens were well behind the CDU (29 percent) and the SPD (22 percent) with 18 percent. In the 2018 election, they received 19.8 percent of the vote.
10,000 social housing units with longer rental price controls
In his speech to around 450 listeners at the meeting, which was open to all party members, Al-Wazir announced at least 20,000 additional daycare places and the creation of regional medical care centers in rural areas. He is aiming to build 60,000 new apartments in the Rhine-Main metropolitan area within five years so that rents can once again be made affordable for the average citizen. 10,000 of these quarters are said to be social housing, with a fixed rent period of 50 years, not the usual 25. In this way, Al-Wazir wants to prevent that in the foreseeable future there will again be too few social housing with low rents in Hesse.
The Greens are also in favor of a “Hessen Pass Culture” that would give low-income citizens nationwide discounted admission to cultural, sports and leisure activities. In the secondary schools there should be tablets for every child and young person. If possible, multiple internships as part of the lessons should become standard in schools. The debate on the draft of a “government program 2024 to 2029” will in all likelihood continue into the evening.
The campaign motto of his party “Love Hesse. Living the future” is his program in the truest sense of the word, said Al-Wazir. Global warming requires many changes and the Greens are ready to initiate them and leave no one behind. Under his leadership, state funds for climate protection would be bundled and used in a concentrated manner in the fight against climate change. With a transformation fund endowed with six billion euros, Hessian companies should be supported on their way to environmentally friendly future technologies.
Angela Dorn, co-lead candidate in the state elections, pointed out in her party speech that Hesse had become “greener and fairer” thanks to the participation of the Greens in government. At the end of 2013, in the first black-green coalition in a non-city state, the party had the courage to end the camp formation that had prevailed in the political landscape until then. “Because we knew that cultural struggles would not advance Hesse, only the courage to break new ground.” The Greens wanted to remain true to this style in the next legislative period: content is more important than ideology when forming coalitions and governments.