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East versus West, Coal versus Climate TIME ONLINE


It is only
A few days ago, a message sparked joy among climate protectionists. The
Berlin think tank Agora Energiewende presented a preliminary annual balance sheet to
of German greenhouse gas emissions dropped to a record low in 2019
, Agora estimated the annual minus at just over 50 million
Tons of CO2. That was even that
The Federal Government's goal, already thought lost, of emissions that are harmful to the climate
Reduce gases by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990, again
"within reach"
, it was said. 35 percent have been reached. That sounded
surprisingly optimistic. The decline in the past year was not due to that
The government's efforts came about. But primarily through European emissions trading.

And for the fact that politics in
could actually make serious efforts this year
There are hardly any clues to create the missing five percentage points.

The expansion of wind and solar systems is stalling. The federal government's climate package will only begin to take effect in the coming year. Probably the only way to achieve anything in 2020: start now as quickly as possible with the most controversial – but most important – climate policy project in Germany, the coal phase-out. "You could quickly take coal power plants off the grid,
that would bring something for 2020, "says Agora spokesman Christoph Podewils." But
nothing is currently happening. "

Waiting for a year

The exit is not progressing, although the coal commission is already doing so
a year later in their final report
has mapped out. At that time, Chancellor Angela Merkel took the recommendations
benevolently. Now she takes on the matter again: on this
Wednesday Merkel invites the prime ministers of the coal exit affected
Federal states to the Chancellery to clarify issues. If it goes well
the top meeting could make groundbreaking decisions about possible shutdown dates
and bring over money.

But that would only pacify a partial conflict.
Negotiations are running in parallel with the coal electricity suppliers. And both
is connected.

That it is not
was going to be easy, was clear from the start. The talks in the coal commission already showed
how difficult it would be to say goodbye. They lasted long and
were tough and in the end some members were reluctant to approve the final report. You said the recommendations in it were climate protection
too little. But in order not to stop the coal exit any further, they voted
them yes anyway.

Money decided, not exit

By doing
The report recommended the Federal Government's commission to lignite-fired power plants by 2022
with a capacity of three gigawatts and hard coal-fired power plants with four
Gigawatts to shut down. By 2030, another six gigawatts of lignite and
seven gigawatts of hard coal follow. In 2038, maybe three
Years earlier, the exit should then be complete. In return, should
the regions affected will receive 40 billion euros, and so will the
Energy companies should be compensated.

Law on the 40 billion euros
for the regions – Structural Support Act
meanwhile through the cabinet of the federal government
, The coal phase-out law, which is supposed to regulate,
It has been a long time since months since the power plant goes off the grid. On
a few times it was said that it would soon be discussed in the cabinet. Each time the appointment was postponed again. The lead
The Federal Ministry of Economics does not provide any information about the status of the negotiations. presumably
because the interests are so complicated and you can’t deal with any of them
interested parties.


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