The current legal situation provides for the end of German coal-fired power generation by 2038. In the traffic light coalition agreement, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP had agreed to “ideally” bring the deadline forward to 2030. For the Rhenish mining area in North Rhine-Westphalia, this date was already fixed last year. The remaining mining regions are the Lusatian mining area in Brandenburg and Saxony and the Central German mining area in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
The Greens want to tackle the issue at their parliamentary group retreat from Tuesday to Thursday in Weimar. In the eight-page paper on the subject of transformation, which was available to the AFP news agency over the weekend, the chapter "Coal phase-out 2030 in the East - seize opportunities" takes up three pages.
The earlier phase-out of coal in East Germany "not only makes sense in terms of climate policy," it says. "In view of new developments, moving forward also brings planning and investment security for the people and regions on site. The assumption made by the coal commission at the time that coal-fired power generation would be economical up to the year 2038 has now become obsolete."
The Greens propose various steps to enable the phase-out by 2030. "We want security and prospects for the people in the east German coal regions," said Green Party leader Katharina Dröge of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", which first reported on the paper.
Headwind came from the coalition partner SPD. "We have to keep our word on the timetable for the coal exit in eastern Germany," said parliamentary group leader Detlef Müller AFP. "Keeping new deadlines announced causes massive uncertainty among the local people." An earlier exit than 2038 is "depending on conditions that are currently not available," said the Chemnitz member of the Bundestag.
FDP parliamentary group leader Carina Konrad also said that instead of "imprudently wanting to legislate new numbers on the coal phase-out, the question of long-term affordable and secure energy supply must be answered". Coal-fired power plants could only be taken off the grid if there were sufficient alternatives.
Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) also reacted negatively. "We must not saw off the branch we are sitting on," he told the "Welt" (Monday edition). "No early exit without a secure power supply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Cheap party decisions won't help."
The left-wing financial politician Christian Görke called the Greens' initiative "absurd". "The promised structural funds for Lusatia are still being tricked and the rail projects are on the slow train," explained the Brandenburg member of the Bundestag. "The legally stipulated evaluation report was also postponed until the end of the day. So it won't work with an earlier exit."