One day before the planned adoption of the heating law in the Bundestag, FDP Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki did not want to commit to voting for the draft law. “I haven’t finally decided how I will vote,” the 71-year-old, who is also Vice President of the Bundestag, told the newspapers of the Funke media group. "After the catastrophic original draft from Habeck, the FDP did the best it could under the circumstances."
After a long struggle, the traffic light parties - including the FDP - had agreed on a version of the Building Energy Act (the so-called Heating Act) that was toned down compared to the first draft. The law aims to gradually replace oil and gas heating systems and thus make heating in Germany more climate-friendly. It is scheduled to come into force at the beginning of 2024, but will initially only apply to new development areas.
The law was passed in the Bundestag on Friday. The Union and the other opposition parties in the Bundestag had previously failed with an application to delay the planned adoption - but the Federal Constitutional Court had stopped the adoption, which was originally planned before the summer break. After a lawsuit from CDU MP Thomas Heilmann, the court expressed doubts as to whether the MPs' rights were sufficiently protected.
This decision was also "an important point" for Kubicki, he said, and found that new findings and criticism of the project should have been taken into account more appropriately after this decision. Nevertheless, the FDP politician ultimately voted yes. As did 398 other MPs - which meant the long-contested project could be passed.
For Wolfgang Kubicki, despite or because of his often expressed criticism of the heating law, the "yes" vote is likely to have quite unpleasant consequences. Because many of his followers are now accusing him of hypocrisy and double standards - especially on Twitter, which is now officially called X.
The most biting criticism, however, comes from accounts that are blatantly associated with the AfD and sometimes call for voting for the AfD in the same breath as criticizing the FDP man. It is unclear to what extent this may be a coordinated campaign by supporters of the right-wing fringe party. However, it became clear that the 71-year-old may not have done himself any favors in terms of voters' favor with his demonstrative unwillingness to vote for it.
Sources: DPA, Twitter