Germany’s government wants coal states to foot part of exit bill
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The German government wants coal mining states to pay part of the cost of restructuring local economies for the post-coal era, Andreas Mihm writes for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According the German economy and energy ministry (BMWi)’s draft of the planned “structural coal region strengthening law”, federal government would provide coal regions with 14 billion euros of direct financial support over the next two decades, which the states could use for projects of their choice. Because state governments want to decide how this money is spent, they will have to provide 10 percent of the funds themselves - as prescribed by German Basic Law, the BMWi says.
Germany’s coal exit commission agreed that coal regions should receive a total of 40 billions euros, 26 billion of which will be used to finance measures to be laid out in an upcoming law. In the draft law, the economy ministry proposes that 37 percent of structural development funds will go to North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, around a fourth each to Saxony and Brandenburg, and the other 12 percent to Saxony-Anhalt. The BMWi’s proposals so far deal with the first of Germany's two coal exit laws, which aims to limit economic disruption in the coal regions. The second phase of coal exit regulation is to deal with energy supply security and Germany’s emissions reduction targets. This could also address possible compensation for coal plant operators, which the coal exit commission decided should be handled in bilateral talks with the companies or, if no agreement can be reached, by “regulatory law”.