German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected calls to bring forward the country’s exit date for coal in power generation, currently set at 2038.

“Those affected need some reliability on the path to climate neutrality,” said Merkel. “I don’t want to unravel this again after one year.”

The German coal phase-out law was agreed in July 2020 – 18 months after the country’s coal exit commission recommended that coal-fired power generation should be ended by 2038 at the latest.

But the phase-out is much later than in many EU countries. Most have a phase-out date of 2030 or before while others, like Belgium and Austria, have already ditched coal from their energy mixes.

The Paris Agreement also calls for developed countries to have ditched coal by 2030 – eight years before Germany’s current target.

On top of this, the European Commission is currently investigating a planned €4.35 billion compensation scheme for German energy companies, agreed as part of the country’s coal exist plan, saying the sums involved are “likely to constitute state aid” under EU law.

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May 18, 2021