Green Party and mining union at odds over coal exit strategy
Germany’s energy industry can reach its greenhouse gas reduction obligations for 2030 and 2050 purely by letting the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) do its work, Michael Vassiliadis, head of the mining and chemicals industry union IG BCE, said in a joint interview with the head of the Green Party, Annalena Baerbock. Baerbock called Vassiliadis’ line of reasoning “absurd,” arguing that the European CO2 price was too low to exert an effect, and that it mattered a lot whether Germany phased out coal power generation 20 years earlier or later. Vassiliadis warned that a speedy coal exit would see power prices rise, and would prompt energy-intensive industries to stop investing in Germany. As a result, jobs would be lost. Baerbock replied that people in coal mining regions deserved planning security, which a planned coal exit path could provide.