News Digest Item
11 Dec 2017

Mining labour union head says Germany’s 2020 climate goals should be “stretched”

Clean Energy Wire

Germany should aim to achieve its 2020 emissions reduction goals at some point in the 2020s instead of “new year’s eve 2020”, Michael Vassiliadis, head of mining labour union IG BCE, has said at a union conference in Berlin. “It’s not a sin to stretch the 2020 goals,” Vassiliadis said, adding that it would be even more prudent to align Germany’s national CO2 reduction goals with the 2030 goal stipulated in the Paris Agreement. The labour union leader said Germany was probably going to reduce its emissions by 34-35 percent by the end of 2020 compared to 1990 levels, falling short of the reduction goal of 40 percent. But he added that: “no other country has achieved as much”. Clinging to a fixed date for emissions reduction would lead to “ruptures in the economic structure”, he argued, saying that the emissions reduction achieved so far had only been possible at the expense of de-industrialising eastern Germany. The mining industry lobbyist said there was “no doubt” that the Paris Agreement’s goals had to be “addressed” and that the coal mining industry in the long run “naturally” had to face profound changes, but “realism” about the costs and deadlines was often absent with policymakers.

For background see two CLEW factsheets on coal in Germany here and here.

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