24 November 2021

New German government pulls up just short of a 2030 coal phase out commitment, but doubles down on renewables

BERLIN, 24 NOVEMBER 2021 – The three parties set to form Germany’s next government have agreed to strive to bring forward the country’s inadequate 2038 coal exit to 2030, and substantially accelerate its renewable energy rollout, but have complicated Germany’s climate plans by choosing to expand the use of volatile fossil gas.

The agreement announced today shows that the three parties have learned some lessons from the previous government’s failed coal exit law, but they still need to say what measures they will take to accelerate the coal phase out, or clearly state their intention to pass the changes into law. 

“Germany’s political leaders have finally accepted what we knew all along: the previous government’s farcical 2038 coal phase out plan could never hold. A 2030 coal exit is now in sight, but the switch from coal to fossil gas is very shortsighted,” said Wiebke Witt, Germany campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal. “The new government has a moral duty to save all villages in North Rhine-Westphalia from destruction at the hands of coal company RWE. Leaving the fate of the village of Lützerath to a court ruling is a bitter pill for its people, particularly when Germany is targeting a 2030 coal exit that should save it. There is zero justification for RWE to rob more people of their homes.” 

“Germany’s new government understands that waiting until 2038 to end coal power makes no sense for the economy or the environment. A 2030 German coal exit leaves nowhere to hide for Poland, Czechia and Bulgaria. The rest of the EU are doing their part on coal and phasing it out this decade in line with what is needed for 1.5C. Those left behind will face high electricity prices, an uncompetitive economy, and increasing pressure to act as the climate crisis unfolds,” said Charles Moore, Ember’s Europe lead.

“Today’s coalition agreement is a missed chance to commit to a 2035 fossil gas exit in line with 1.5 degrees. This is a big disappointment and sends the wrong signal to utilities, banks and insurers. Continued and increased pressure by civil society will be needed in the years to come,” said Katrin Ganswindt, Campaigner at Urgewald.

ENDS

Contacts:

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

Wiebke Witt, campaigner in Germany, Europe Beyond Coal (English) (German)
[email protected], +49 176 64977897

Charles Moore, European Programme Lead, EMBER, (English)
[email protected] 

Katrin Ganswindt, Climate Campaigner, Urgewald, (English, German)
[email protected], +49 176 32411130

Notes:

  1. Coalition agreement: https://www.gruene.de/artikel/koalitionsvertrag-mehr-fortschritt-wagen

About:

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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