Merkel backs German coal exit by 2038
dpa / WirtschaftsWoche
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed ending coal-fired power production in the country by 2038 as proposed by Germany’s coal exit commission. During a debate with Japanese students at Keio University in Tokyo, Merkel said that “by 2038, we want to have exited coal,” adding that “unfortunately we still have too much brown coal (lignite),” the news agency dpa reports in an article carried by the business newspaper WirtschaftsWoche. The chancellor said that exiting coal would mean that Germany will have to use more gas. She also criticised the current CO2 trading system, which according to Merkel “isn’t quite as economically efficient as we thought.” She argued that it would be worthwhile to consider putting a price on all CO2 emissions instead of applying different mechanisms for each sector. “Theoretically, this would be the best debate to have,” Merkel said.
The coal exit commission has proposed to shut down the last coal-fired plant in Germany no later than 2038 and also to review the phase-out schedule several times before the deadline to assess whether all conditions are still met to proceed as planned or to even speed up the process. Several politicians of Merkel’s conservative CDU party, including influential parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus, have said that the proposed date is not set in stone and could be postponed if supply security appears uncertain.