Germany Creates A Coal Exit Commission

Spotlight Activity: Germany Creates A Coal Exit Commission

Germany is the world’s largest producer and consumer of lignite. Coal is responsible for about a third of the power used in Germany and over 80 % of greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to reach an agreement on a coal exit plan as indicated in the Climate Action Plan 2050, Germany has formed a “Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment”. The Commission has four goals. First, to create concrete alternative economic plans in coal mining areas, second to identify measures that help meet the 2030 emission targets, third develop a roadmap and define date for phasing out coal, and fourth to make recommendations on how to close the 2020 climate targets gap. The Commission will ensure Germany exits from coal mining without causing so much harm to the economy.

The Commission is also expected to oversee the mandate of the federal government in ensuring equal investments in employment opportunities throughout the Country, especially in regions whose economies rely on coal mining. It will also propose alternative energy sources, economic, transport and entrepreneurial opportunities among others to boost the economies of the coal dependent regions. The commission will ensure that energy related emission pathways as outlined in the Climate Protection Act (CPA) are well informed. The CPA will be launched in 2019 by the Environment minister Svenja Schulze. The government will also establish similar commissions to ensure other climate action targets in the transport, agriculture, buildings and industry sectors are formed.

Status: Right Direction

The German government is moving in the right direction in regards to meeting the Paris agreement goals. The effort of setting up a commission under the management of the Federal Ministry for Economy Affairs and Energy (BMWi) separate from the Environment Ministry (BMU) is a clear plan to a coal exit. It means a transfer of the coal exit plan to an external body separate from the government. The Environment minister Svenja Schulze has affirmed that the Commission will focus on meeting the Paris agreement. An exit from coal would mean giving up lignite and hard coal mining for power production and re-directing efforts into renewable energy generation.

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    Peter Altmaier – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
    Scharnhorststraße 34-37, 10115 Berlin
    Phone: +49 (0) 3018 615-0
    Fax: +49 (0) 3018 615-7010

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