Expensive coal exit in Germany could not serve as role model – opinion
Germany looks set to decide an expensive future coal exit plan – money that would just be spent to “marginally speed up” what is already in progress, writes Daniel Wetzel in an opinion piece for Welt Online. The coal exit “has long begun and its end was already in sight” as a large part of lignite mines would be exploited by 2030, and the rest by 2050, and Europe’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) pushes hard coal power plants out of the market, writes Wetzel. As the effect on global emissions would be marginal, the German coal exit is only justified if it can serve as a role model, but it will be too expensive to do so, writes Wetzel. “Buying up and shutting down an entire industry with tax money is not a blueprint which coal countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, India or South Africa could follow, even if they wanted to.”
Germany’s coal exit commission is in charge of suggesting how the world’s fourth largest economy could be weaned off the climate-damaging fossil fuel, and is expected to finalise its proposal in the coming days. A leaked draft of its final report suggests agreements on compensation for coal plant operators, support for affected mining regions, and measures to shield consumers from rising power prices.