Survey: Higher fuel prices are extremely unpopular with Germans

In addition, polls recently went downhill for the Greens. In a - theoretical - direct election of the Chancellor, Baerbock would have a lead over Union candidate Armin Laschet (CDU) and SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz. But Baerbock's lead is waning. So it stands to reason that the Greens should return to one of their core issues: climate and environmental protection.

That doesn't go down well with voters. Almost three quarters consider the project to be wrong. This was the result of a representative survey by the opinion research institute Civey for SPIEGEL. And that although the Greens demand - as explicitly mentioned in the question - is made for "climate protection reasons". Among car drivers, the rejection is even greater at 81 percent.

(Read the Background to the Civey method.)

In the countryside, where people are particularly dependent on the car, the rejection of the petrol price increase is particularly high. Only 14 percent of those surveyed in particularly sparsely populated areas consider the proposal to be correct there. With increasing population density, approval increases. But even in Germany's urban regions, a majority rejects further increases in petrol prices.

The Greens have a large number of voters, especially in metropolitan areas. When it comes to fuel prices, the party is likely to encounter resistance even from its core electorate. The subject of fuel price increases is nothing new. And it is not the Greens alone that are pushing it.

Gradual fuel price increase has already been determined

Because the gradual increase in the price of fuel goes with that of the Grand coalition of the Union and SPD decided on CO2-Pricing associated. The in Germany as part of the national emissions trading a CO2-Price of 25 euros per ton. Oil companies, for example, have to pay this by buying so-called emission rights for the fuels they produce using certificates. They pass the costs on to consumers.

In return, the state uses the additional income to relieve citizens of the electricity price. The higher fuel costs for commuters are to be cushioned by increasing the commuter allowance.

This currently means a price premium of seven cents per liter of petrol and around eight cents per liter of diesel or heating oil. In the coming years, the CO2-Price will gradually increase to at least 55 euros per ton in 2025. This would then make itself felt with surcharges of around 16 cents per liter of petrol and just over 17 cents for a liter of diesel or heating oil compared to 2020.

Union again by far the strongest force

The debates of the past few days and weeks have apparently left their mark on the Greens' election prospects. If the general election were on Sunday, the Greens would have 22 percent. They are clearly behind the Union, currently the strongest force with 29 percent.

There is little movement - as it has been for months - in the SPD. It currently stands at 16 percent of the vote. The FDP is still at twelve, the AfD at ten percent. On the other hand, things have been going downwards for weeks for the left. Although the party has never exceeded eight to nine percent for a year, the polls have been falling continuously since the beginning of March.

The left currently has six percent. Given the margin of error of 2,5 percentage points, the move into the Bundestag after the election on September 26th, this is anything but certain at the moment. Should the party fail at the five percent hurdle, a green-red-red coalition would definitely no longer be an option. However, given the current polls, there is no majority for such an alliance even if the left enters parliament.