Next government must put cap on coal power production – env min state secretary
The outgoing grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD made the mistake of not putting a general cap on coal-fired power production when it mothballed several old an inefficient lignite plants in 2016 in order to save CO₂ emissions, Jochen Flasbarth, Social Democrat and state secretary in the environment ministry told Michael Bauchmüller in an interview for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “As a result, we have a few power plant units less, but not less coal power. The other [plants] just produce more,” said Flasbarth. The next federal government should introduce limits for German coal power volumes, similar to the country’s nuclear phase-out plans.
Germany’s bad climate record is not down to “a lack of insight” of the grand government coalition’s personnel over the past four years, said Flasbarth. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chief of the Chancellery Peter Altmaier and former economy minister Sigmar Gabriel had all been environment ministers at some point in their career. “Yet, there was a great reluctance to initiate deep-rooted structural change.” The fear of driving people into the arms of populists had stood in the way of necessary decisions, Flasbarth argued.
Read the interview in German (behind paywall) here.