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29 January 2020


Joint press release: German cabinet adopts legislation on phasing out coal

The German cabinet today adopted the Act on the Reduction and Termination of Coal-Fired Electricity Generation and Amending Further Acts (Gesetz zur Reduzierung und zur Beendigung der Kohleverstromung und zur Änderung weiterer Gesetze).

Kohlebagger BildVergroessern
Source:  dpa picture alliance

The bill includes provisions on

  • reducing and terminating electricity generation from coal and lignite,
  • the cancellation of CO2 allowances that become available,
  • compensation for electricity consumers in the event that the price of electricity rises as a result of phasing out coal,
  • payment of an adjustment benefit to older employees in the coal industry to make it easier for them to retire,
  • extension of the period of applicability of the Combined Heat and Power Act (Kraft-Wärme-Kopplungsgesetz) and further development of the legislation to promote the transition from coal to flexible, climate-friendly electricity production.

The new legislative package allows us to end electricity generation from coal in Germany in a way that is legally certain, economically rational and socially equitable. Above all, however, we are creating at the same time the prospect of safe and affordable electricity production using highly efficient gas-fired power plants that will enable the transition to carbon-neutral energy production. German Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier

The importance of this legislative package cannot be overestimated. As a result of this package, Germany will create a new foundation for a key element of its energy supply within just a few years, making it modern, climate-friendly and future-proof. Our goal is to achieve an energy supply that is clean, safe and reliable, and that continues to be affordable. Now, as a next step, we have to make real progress in terms of expanding the grid and the use of renewables. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

Germany has made a binding commitment to phasing out electricity generation from coal. This is an important contribution to climate action as it means that Germany’s total CO2 emissions will be reduced, step by step, by around one quarter. It is also an important signal to send internationally. The world is watching Germany closely to see how it succeeds in taking action on climate change and in phasing out coal. We are demonstrating that an industrialised country can transition completely from coal-fired electricity generation to renewable energy, while at the same time creating new economic prospects for coal-mining regions. For this reason, social equity is not only a good investment in the cohesion of society but also in climate action. Now the next step must be taken, namely the resolute further expansion of wind and solar power. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze

More information and the text of the bill can be found here (in German).