Bundestag Passes Germany’s Final Exit from Coal
July 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—Both houses of parliament approved a bill planning to shut down the last coal-fired power plant in Germany by 2038, as part of Germany’s “energy transition” strategy to end the use of fossil fuels and to generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from so-called renewable sources. Germany is also committed to phasing out nuclear power by the end of 2022. At present, coal is powering Germany with 20% of the national need, nuclear with 12%.
“The days of coal are numbered in Germany,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said. “Germany is the first industrialized country that leaves behind both nuclear energy and coal.” Radical environmentalists however say the plan does not go far enough: “Germany, the country that burns the greatest amount of lignite coal worldwide, will burden the next generation with 18 more years of carbon dioxide,” Greenpeace told Associated Press, insisting that the final exit from coal should occur no later than 2030.
The opposition Free Democrats also hit in a similar, radical direction, with Katja Suding, a leading FDP politician, demanding the government expand existing emissions trading systems that put a price on carbon, thereby encouraging operators to shut down unprofitable coal plants. “You just have to make it so expensive that it’s not profitable anymore to turn coal into electricity,” she said.