05 Feb 2019, 13:35
Benjamin Wehrmann

German coal exit proposal is inefficient “planned economy” approach – FDP head


The proposal by Germany’s coal exit commission to gradually phase out the fossil fuel by 2038 is tantamount to a “planned economy” approach and does little to curb carbon emissions in an efficient way, Christian Lindner, head of the pro-business party FDP, says in a guest commentary for Handelsblatt. “Instead of initiating an indirect steering effect through setting targets, German policy entangles itself in steering details,” Lindner writes, adding that this approach “will not convince people in India or China”. The “actual goal” of reducing CO2 emissions quickly, efficiently and at low costs “almost doesn’t play any role at all anymore”, he argues. Lindner also criticised the sums proposed to buffer structural change and limit power price increases. "Instead, ecologic effects should be given a price,” he says, adding that market mechanisms like the EU emissions trading system (ETS) should figure much more prominently in the commission proposal.
The coal exit commission’s final report says the fossil fuel phase-out’s effects on the ETS have to be taken into account by deleting emissions allowances from the national budget after coal plants are taken off the market. It also proposes to examine a CO2 price for sectors not covered by the ETS.

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