Coal exit highlights contradictions in climate and energy policy for eastern Germany
Devising a plan for Germany’s coal exit through a commission is a tough job with many pitfalls for policymakers, Cecile Boutelet reports for Le Monde. Coal region Lusatia in eastern Germany is one example of a place “where the contradictory narratives of the country's energy and environmental policy add to the problems caused by reunification,” she writes. Everyone in the region knows that, sooner or later, coal is finished – but the precarious economic situation in eastern coal regions, the question of supply security and concerns of energy-intensive industries over rising power prices all weigh heavily on Germany’s emissions reduction goals. “Politically, coal is a time bomb,” Boutelet says, arguing that the far-right party AfD could gain from further de-industrialisation in eastern German coal areas, where state elections take place in autumn 2019. “But for the two big government parties [CDU/CSU and SPD], it’s getting more difficult: besides the AfD, the most dynamic party in polls are the Greens, who fight for a quick shutdown of the dirtiest coal plants,” she writes.
Find the article in French here (paywall).
Find background in the article Contested forest and loud criticism cloud 3rd coal commission session and in CLEW’s Commission watch and the factsheet on Germany’s coal exit commission.