“We will initiate a restart of energy policy from North Rhine-Westphalia”
The future government coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU) and Free Democrats (FDP) in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) wants to slow down wind power expansion and keep energy generation from fossil fuels as “bridging technologies for the foreseeable future”, according to the new coalition agreement presented on 16 June. “We want to reconcile ecology and economy”, said CDU State Chairman Armin Laschet at a press conference. Christian Linder, state chairman of the FDP said that a hundred days before the federal elections, forming a CDU-FDP coalition had “significance beyond the state’s borders". The two parties aim to “initiate a restart of energy policy from North Rhine-Westphalia”, and develop an “energy supply strategy” for the state. The agreement states that the coalition aims to "rid" the state's climate protection law off all regulations that go beyond goals and measures of the European Union. The new government will stand by existing plans for lignite mining in the state, and support “structural transition” in the affected regions. Renewables expansion will not prefer any one technology, and there will be no “planning economy expansion corridors”. The coalition plans to prescribe a minimum distance of 1,500 metres between new wind turbines and residential areas. “Economic growth is possible while preserving natural resources; and one can protect the environment without putting chains on economic power”, said Lindner. The leaders will now present the agreement to their respective parties for approval.
Find the coalition agreement in German here.
Find background in the CLEW factsheet Facts on the German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the article Coal exit: elephant in the room at vote in German industry heartland.