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ShareJanuary 16, 2020 In the aftermath of the "green deal" launched by the German-led European commission, Germany is the first country to announce a binding plan to abandon coal within the next two decades. The Berlin plan for leaving the coal will be applied immediately: the federal state and the Laenders have in fact reached an agreement that provides for the abandonment of coal plants at the latest in 2038, but if possible already in 2035.
The announcement was made by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, who explained that eight "very old and very polluting" coal plants will be shut down very quickly, the first one already this year, and recognizing that Germany will need "a massive expansion of wind and solar energy ".
"They have been very tough negotiations - they have lasted a long time, from my point of view too long, but the result is good," the minister continued, stressing that Germany is "the first country to exit nuclear and coal on binding basis and this is an important international signal that we are sending. "
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has announced that there will be compensation for managers of coal plants which will be shut down earlier than expected: managers in West Germany will receive 2.6 billion euros, while 1.75 billion will be intended for managers in the east of the country, with payments spread over the 15 years following the shutdown of the plants.
"What we have is a good agreement for climate protection, because it makes it clear that we intend to do it seriously," said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, adding that the government plans to present the relevant law in Parliament by end of January.
The federal government has already approved a plan to spend up to € 40 billion by 2038 to cushion the impact of fossil fuel abandonment on regions where coal mining is taking place. The money should begin to be allocated once Parliament has passed legislation setting the dates and conditions for Germany's exit from coal.
A year ago a government-appointed panel recommended that Germany stop burning coal to generate electricity by 2038 as part of efforts to cut climate change by 2038 at the latest.
Efforts to translate this into concrete policies, however, have stalled in recent months as several areas, particularly in the east of the country, depend heavily on lignite, a coal. Hence the confrontation between the federal government and the governors of the Laender concerned that ended with the agreement tonight: the plan foresees that revisions will take place in 2026 and 2029 to determine if Germany can leave the generation of electricity from coal in 2035, that is, three years before the deadline.