Lignite exit should follow example of hard coal phase-out – Merkel
The highly anticipated task force on phasing out coal power – which will also tackle the phase-out of lignite mining – should follow the example of Germany’s hard coal exit, Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament. The last German hard coal mine closed in 2018. “We managed it so that workers were able to cope with the changes,” Merkel said. “It was done together with them. That’s how it has to be with lignite as well.” The government should first ask what will become of the region and then cease mining, rather than setting an end date up front, the chancellor said.
Merkel’s speech was part of the ongoing three-day debate over the federal budget. The chancellor also said she was “happy” the car industry had started to rethink the possibility of battery cell production in Europe, a topic “that has occupied my mind for years.” Batteries account for about 40 percent of an e-car’s value and about another third comes from digital technology components, both of which largely take place in Asia and North America, respectively. “What part of value creation is left here in Europe?,” Merkel said. She added that Germany and the EU would supply the necessary “structural support” but called on the industry to also do its bit.
Find a video of the plenary session in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out.