On a site steeped in history a few hundred meters from the Reichstag in central Berlin, an office building is rapidly taking shape that handily symbolizes how climate protection has come to dominate the political narrative ahead of September’s election.
The modular Luisenblock West, which will provide working space for Germany’s Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, is mostly wooden beyond a reinforced concrete core. The individual units that make up the bulk of the building are assembled at a site in the east of the city and designed to reduce carbon footprint by capturing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide.
With just four months until the national vote that will mark the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign, the Greens are leading the chancellor’s conservative bloc in some opinion polls and climate protection is high on the list of priorities for many voters. The former fringe party has a real chance of leading a German government for the first time, while traditional parties scramble to affirm their environmental credentials.