German coal commission helpful example but no climate policy panacea – analysis
Employing multi-stakeholder task forces like Germany’s coal exit commission can be a useful tool for deciding on controversial climate action policies but cannot replace conventional policymaking procedures in Germany or elsewhere, climate change think tank E3G says in an analysis of the lessons the coal commission can offer to other countries. “Commissions cannot replace political leadership, and ambitious targets for emissions reduction are inevitable for any long-term planning and outcome in line with the commitments under the Paris Agreement,” the researchers say. However, they add that multi-stakeholder engagement is essential if a country faces more contentious and complex phase-out questions, as it increases inclusiveness and the potential for consensus.
The German government set up a commission of over two dozen major stakeholders in Germany’s coal exit in early 2018, which after months of negotiations proposed to end coal-fired power production by 2038 at the very latest. The commission’s proposal only has advisory character, but Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians already signalled they regard the commission’s findings as a guideline for policymaking.