Conservative party head opposes faster coal exit
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has come out against demands for an earlier coal exit than the 2038 deadline proposed by the coal exit commission, reports Handelsblatt. The speed of the phase-out must be aligned with the structural economic changes in coal regions, the conservative said during an election campaign visit to Saxony. Jobs first need to be created and the regions also need planning security, she added. People in the eastern German coal mining state will head to the polls for regional elections on 1 September.
A government commission agreed in early 2019 that Germany as a whole should phase out both hard coal and lignite power generation by 2038 at the latest. The recommendations were welcomed by the federal government, which now has to mould them into legislation. However, with news of lignite plants increasingly becoming unprofitable due to factors like high costs for allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and rising renewables supply, calls for a quicker coal exit are increasing. Markus Söder, head of the CDU's Bavarian sister party CSU, has called for a coal exit as early as 2030, as has Green Party head Robert Habeck.