North Rhine-Westphalia govt “expects double-digit billion euro” support for coal exit
Andreas Pinkwart, economy minister for Germany’s industrial powerhouse North Rhine-Westphalia, has said his state government “expects a double-digit billion euro amount for structural change and infrastructure over the next decades,” reports news agency Reuters. Pinkwart said the exact sum could not yet be determined, but would certainly be more than 10 billion euros. “Supported by Germany and the EU, the coal region can evolve into a model for how to safeguard energy and other resources,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited the state premiers of Germany’s four lignite (brown coal)-mining states, federal ministers and the heads of the country’s coal exit commission to a meeting at the chancellery on 15 January to discuss the country’s coal exit. The commission was originally scheduled to present proposals by the end of 2018, but has pushed back the deadline to 1 February 2019, following complaints by the country's eastern coal mining states that structural economic change in mining regions has yet to be adequately addressed. Ahead of the meeting, Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has called on Merkel to take the matter into her own hands. “The coal exit is the most important individual climate policy decision in Angela Merkel's current term in office,” DUH’s managing director Sascha Müller-Kraenner said.