News Digest Item
16 Feb 2018

Quick German coal exit feasible, say energy politicians of Bavaria’s CSU

Christian Social Union (CSU)

A energy transition working group of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, has published a paper saying that the effects of an end to coal-fired power production in Germany “are far less damaging than what is being said.” The paper argues that a swift coal exit is “indispensable” if Germany wants to meet its climate goals for 2020 and beyond. There is no coal mining in Bavaria.
The working group says Germany’s current efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are “far from being sufficient” to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, and proposes to shut down the country’s twelve oldest coal plants before 2020, which could be done “without compromising Germany’s power supply security.” The working group says that employment in the sector is relatively low, adding that even if all coal plants were shut down immediately, “a large amount of professionals will still be needed for follow-up work,” such as the demolition and renaturation of former mining sites, “making job cuts less significant” than anticipated.
The working group argues that many coal companies would be able to cope with a phase-out if the state provides adequate financial assistance, but warns that “companies like RWE” could “cut out the best parts of the company,” and demand state aid for those branches “that are unable to survive.” The group says that an expert commission charged with managing the phase-out of coal, which is also mentioned in Germany’s coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD), should commence its work without delay.

Find the working group paper in German here.

For background, see the CLEW factsheets Coal in Germany and When will Germany finally ditch coal?

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