03 Apr 2019, 12:28
Benjamin Wehrmann

Eastern German coal states refuse to pay for coal exit measures


Germany’s eastern coal mining states have told the government that they do not intend to contribute to the financial liabilities associated with the country’s coal exit, public broadcaster MDR reports. The state premiers of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg told Chancellor Angela Merkel in a letter that they “by all means want to avoid the impression that the coal mining areas end up bearing the brunt” of Germany’s envisaged phase-out of coal-fired power production. The phase-out slated for 2038 at the latest was a decision made by the federal government, which is why it also had to be responsible for its consequences, the state leaders argued. They demanded “a clear commitment” by the federal government that it will foot the coal exit bill and frees the states of any financial liability.

Germany’s planned coal exit is expected to cause billions of euros of costs for the public, as the country’s coal exit commission agreed on far-reaching measures to assist affected regions and coal workers financially and to invest in dozens of infrastructure and training projects. The commission estimated that all measures combined could cost up to 40 billion euros, but the final costs also depends on other factors such as possible compensation payments to coal plant operators, or the development of the power price.

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