Eastern German state premiers call for EU support to exit coal
The heads of government of eastern German lignite states Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt have called for EU support to cope with the transition away from coal, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Welt Online. “By phasing out lignite by 2038, eastern Germany will make a significant contribution to the European Union reaching its climate targets,” Brandenburg Premier Dietmar Woidke said in a statement. An EU-wide model could be created on the basis of the eastern German regions, which could show how an exit from lignite is possible without putting industry at a disadvantage, he said during a visit to Brussels, the Belgian city that is home to many EU institutions. Saxony’s state premier, Michael Kretschmer, added: “We have to provide the regions with the opportunity to create something new and that can only happen in Brussels.”
Germany has officially set in motion a gradual withdrawal from coal, joining other major economies in a global farewell to the climate-damaging fossil fuel. The coal commission recommended shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 at the latest. Eastern German coal regions could be hit especially hard as they are heavily dependent on the coal industry without readily available job alternatives.