SPD chancellor candidate Scholz says Germany should stick to coal exit agreement
dpa / rbb / Spiegel Online
Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz has said Germany should stick to its existing timetable for exiting coal no later than 2038. "We have made clear agreements that are important for the companies, for the workers, and also for the region. And these agreements apply and should be respected," Scholz said during a campaign stop in East Germany's coal mining region, according to a dpa report carried by broadcaster rbb. Green chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock countered that an earlier coal exit is necessary to achieve climate targets. "A coal phase-out in 2038 is not compatible with Germany's climate target. If Olaf Scholz sticks to it, he is deliberately accepting that Germany will miss its contractually agreed climate target," Baerbock told newswire dpa, according to an article carried by Spiegel Online. The Greens call for a coal exit by 2030.
The debate about Germany's coal exit plans has recently intensified in the election campaign. Based on a compromise found by Germany's coal exit commission, the government agreed in early 2020 to end coal-fired power production no later than 2038 and possibly a few years earlier, depending on overall power supply security and market conditions. But industry representatives, environmental groups and government politicians doubt that coal can be used for that long due to increasingly ambitious emissions reduction targets and rapidly increasing emissions allowance prices in the European trading system ETS, which forces costly coal plants out of the market. The conservative CDU/CSU alliance's candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet, has said the rising price for allowances could mean"the exit will happen quicker than we all think," adding that his home state, North Rhine-Westphalia, would be able to complete it as early as 2030.