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22 Jul 2021, 13:52
Charlotte Nijhuis

Bavarian conservative state premier Söder wants coal phase-out by 2030

Die Welt

In light of the catastrophic floods that hit Germany, including Bavaria, last week, Bavarian state premier Markus Söder (CSU) has said more effort is needed to combat climate change. “We can and must do more,” said Söder during his statement in the Bavarian parliament, adding that he  wants to renegotiate the end-date of Germany’s coal phase-out after the federal election, Die Welt reports. The current end-date of 2038 is “unambitious”, the leader of the south German state said, adding that he would work to make a coal phase-out as early as 2030 possible. The statement received criticism from various politicians. Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer, of the CSU’s sister party CDU, argued that the current compromise “provides security for all those affected,” and said that Bavaria, which is not a coal state, “is not affected and can talk easier form the outside.”  Climate spokesman of the Free Democrats (FDP), Lukas Köhler, said the renegotiation of the date “would have no benefit for climate protection, but would merely flush billions more in compensation into the coffers of power plant operators at taxpayers' expense." Ludwig Hartmann, head of the Green Party parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament, accused Söder of a completely misguided climate protection policy. "Leadership instead of staging – that's what climate protection is waiting for," he said in parliament after Söder's statement. Hartmann emphasised that climate protection in Bavaria has not progressed since Söder’s election as premier, saying that the government has not implemented its own climate protection law.

According to the German coal exit law, the last coal plant will be shuttered by 2038. However, following the decision for more ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets in Germany and the EU, there is an ongoing debate about whether or not the German coal exit agreement must be revisited to introduce an earlier exit date. At the same time, many analysts have pointed out that rising CO2 costs could mean an early end for many coal stations without any further government intervention.

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