24 January 2020

LEAG coal compensation scandal – Europe Beyond Coal statement

BERLIN, 24 January 2020 – Explosive leaked documents show that coal company LEAG’s 2016 mine plans in Lusatia, Eastern Germany, are identical to the coal phase-out plan it and other lignite utilities and prime ministers from lignite states have just agreed with the German Government. As a result, LEAG will be handed up to €1.75 billion for continuing with business as usual.

“This is a huge scandal that demonstrates that LEAG never intended to negotiate in good faith for responsible action on climate change. LEAG wants to pretend old mining plans are a responsible coal exit, and get billions of euros in compensation from taxpayers’ money. All while they destroy communities, forests, and our climate,” said Fabian Huebner, Klima Allianz coal and energy policy officer.

“We call on the Federal Government and the Minister-Presidents of the lignite states to disclose what they knew about this. There is no option now other than for this agreement between the federal and state governments to be renegotiated, and for the coal phase-out in the East to come much earlier than LEAG had planned back in 2016.”

“We are in a climate crisis, yet somehow the German government has only committed to a weak, 2038 coal phase-out. To reward companies for their slow coal exit, it is handing gifts of billions of euros. But the leaked documents show that LEAG will be able to extract only slightly less lignite than it had planned to back in 2016. Coal companies should not be left off the hook. They should be doing their part for a phase-out by 2030 at the latest,” said Mahi Sideridou, Europe Beyond Coal managing director.


Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185


195 pages of explosives – Confidential documents on the coal phase-out show that Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier wants to pay billions in compensation to an East German energy company – with practically no consideration: https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/peter-altmaier-will-milliarden-entschaedigung-zahlen-praktisch-ohne-gegenleistung-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000169122952


Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu

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