03 Nov 2014, 00:00
Carel Mohn

Reduction of coal power inevitable, says German environment minister

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has announced that reducing the share of coal power in the German energy mix will be an inevitable part of the climate policy action plan to be decided by the government in December.

The plan aims to ensure that Germany reaches its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels. The measures currently in place in Germany are set to achieve a reduction of only around 33 per cent, the ministry estimates.

Hendricks made her remarks at a press conference in Berlin where she presented the results of the latest IPCC report on climate change released at the weekend. She said that along with tackling emissions from buildings, a cut in coal-fired power generation would be one of two main pillars of the climate policy action plan. The action plan is currently being finalised in consultations by various government ministries and will be agreed by cabinet on 3 December, Hendricks said.

The German government has repeatedly stated its commitment to closing the “emissions gap” to achieve the 40 per cent reduction target by 2020. Since 2011, German CO2 emissions have risen, owing to an increase in the use of coal, which has been made attractive partly by low prices in the EU emissions trading system (See Factsheet on EU ETS).

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