No longer a traffic light project: Habeck buries the phase-out of coal by 2030

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

The coalition agreement states that Germany should “ideally” stop mining coal in 2038. Now it appears that no law will be passed on this.

Steaming chimneys of a power plant.

Can continue to steam until 2038: LEAG’s Boxberg coal-fired power station in Saxony Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa

BERLIN taz | It has been clear for a long time now, now that Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (Greens) says it clearly: “ideally,” bringing forward Germany’s coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030, as promised in the coalition agreement, is no longer part of the European Union’s traffic light government’s projects. “There is no legal regulation,” Habeck said in Berlin on Tuesday.

However, he pointed out that the private sector could voluntarily close climate-damaging power plants in advance. Rising CO2-Prices resulting from the reform of the European Emissions Trading System would make coal power generation increasingly uneconomic. “In the long term, of course, there is no point in keeping a power plant online that is not running at all or is in the red – but that is a private sector decision.”

The reason for Habeck’s action was an agreement between Germany and the European Commission on compensation for the Energy company Leag, which operates the basin in eastern Germany. This is compensation for the fact that Leag will no longer be allowed to use coal-fired power stations after 2038. That was decided by the grand coalition. A total of 1.75 billion euros could flow. The majority of this is not at all related to a classic compensation case: 1.2 billion euros has been resolutely promised – even if that does happen the League of Power Plants voluntarily stops working earlier than legally required for business reasons. The company will only receive the remaining 550 million euros if it can demonstrate that it is losing revenue due to the coal phase-out. That means: if the CO2-intensive power plants are being closed for climate reasons in accordance with the coal phase-out law, even if they are still economical.

Part of the money will be used for social plans to help existing coal workers. In addition, it should contribute to the renovation of the open-cast mines, i.e. promote the restoration of the destroyed environment. The federal government cannot simply make such payments to companies; they must be coordinated with the European Commission. That has now happened, as Habeck announced. In December, the European competition watchdogs had already approved Germany and given the energy company RWE 2.6 billion euros Help for the phase-out of coal may pay. He runs the Rhine basin in western Germany. However, there is already an agreement between the federal government, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and companies to advance the phase-out of coal to 2030.

Germany’s climate targets are not guaranteed

The positive effect of the deal on the climate is limited, however: while the closure date for some of RWE’s coal-fired power stations was brought forward, so that none will operate after 2030, others were allowed to remain online longer than previously planned. This does not balance each other out completely, but only partially. Such an arrangement did not come about at Leag. The end date for coal is therefore still in 2038.

The federal government must actually step up its pace when it comes to climate protection. On Monday, the Expert Council for Climate Issues presented a report that showed: There is no guarantee that Germany will achieve its 2030 climate target or climate neutrality by 2045.

League boss Thorsten Kramer is pleased with the amounts he can now expect: “We are pleased with the progress in this process, which is of crucial importance to our company, the employees and the region.”

Source link

Leave a Comment

data data data data data data data data data data data data data