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Radical right-wing populism and climate action in Europe: the case of the alternative for Germany (AfD)

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2019
İskender Düğencioğlu, Burcu.
As the driving force of the EU economy and the main bearer of the economic consequences of the bailout of the weak economies of the EU in the wake of the Euro Crisis of 2008, Germany has become a conducive ground for populist politics with its vast immigrant population. In such a political environment, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) which came out in the aftermath of the Euro Crisis as the right-wing populist party in German politics, gradually reinforced itself as the rising actor in both state and federal elections as well as at the European level. It has embraced hostile language towards climate change policy, incorporated climate science denial in its discourse and caused polarization of the issue in Germany which is known with its ambitious climate action objectives and environmentally friendly energy transformation policies and regarded internationally as “an environmental leader”. This thesis analyzes why and how the European radical right-wing populist parties are opposing climate science and climate action and scrutinizes various aspects of the case of the AfD vis-à-vis anti-climate action.