Categorized | Fossil Fuels

Germany to set out climate action plan by mid-2016

“Germany will lay out a climate action plan for 2050 by the middle of next year, and is talking to industry groups and trade unions about ways to end coal-fired power generation”, its Environment Minister said yesterday (Monday).

Global leaders clinched a breakthrough deal in Paris on Saturday to transform the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy within decades in a bid to arrest global warming.

While Germany’s green energy campaign has earned it the reputation of a leader in environmental policy, critics say it needs to set a timetable to scrap coal power if it is to meet its own ambitious long-term climate targets :

“It is completely clear that we need to exit fossil energy sources by the middle of the century”, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said, adding Germany needed to ” find a way to cushion the social impact in some regions”.

The German government is due to decide on a climate action plan for 2050 by the summer of 2016 and will give more concrete details on a coal exit then.

Last year, Europe’s largest and most dynamic economy generated more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.

But at the same time the phase-out of nuclear power has increased its reliance on brown coal, the dirtiest of all energy sources, which is cheaper than low-emission gas-powered plants.

Faced with opposition from unions in coal-producing states, Germany dropped a proposal to impose penalties on the oldest and most polluting coal-fired power plants in July. Instead, it will set up a coal-fired electricity reserve.

The coal sector accounted for around 44 percent of electricity generated in Germany in 2014.

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