Climate must not “dominate” Germany’s coal commission, conservative politician warns
Germany’s upcoming coal phase-out commission must not be “dominated” by climate action and should instead focus on supply security and economic considerations in the affected regions, conservative (CDU) energy politician Joachim Pfeiffer told the news agency dpa in an article carried by Focus Online. Pfeiffer cautioned that putting climate action and environmental concerns at the heart of the commission’s work could compromise Germany’s international competitiveness.
Green Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock told dpa the commission “needs more climate action, not less.” She said a quick and socially acceptable coal exit was a “necessity” from a climate perspective, and should not be hampered by “backward-looking concerns.” Baerbock said the commission’s outlined strategy is not in line with Germany’s necessary contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement.
In a separate dpa article carried by the public broadcaster rbb24, Jörg Steinbach, head of the Technical University of Cottbus in the eastern coal region of Lusatia, said that it was important to focus on the economic aspects in order to convince residents in the affected regions of the need for Germany to exit coal energy. If people in Lusatia and elsewhere feel that “their personal situation is none of the government’s concern, no result brokered by the commission will be accepted,” he said.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out.