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Düsseldorf (dpa) - North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet considers a faster coal phase-out in West Germany possible before 2038.

"I can say for the West: We can achieve a faster coal exit," said the Union Chancellor candidate of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".

The decision of the Coal Commission and the key decision on lignite in North Rhine-Westphalia would "expressly" provide for an earlier end to coal.

"If the security of supply allows, we will shut down the last coal pile well before 2038 - that is a responsible climate and energy policy."

In June there will also be another setting for the pricing of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) at European level via emissions trading, said the CDU federal chairman.

That makes coal "even more unprofitable for the future".

NRW will bear the sole burden of phasing out lignite by 2028, said Laschet.

Around 70 percent of the shutdowns in North Rhine-Westphalia are planned by 2030.

After that there will only be one opencast mine that will supply three power plant blocks.

"As soon as it is no longer economical and necessary, this will also end here."

At this point in time there must also be an energy system in Germany that would run stably and economically without coal-fired electricity.

"The Greens in particular like to suppress this task."

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So far, the coal compromise stipulates that the mining of lignite will end by 2038 at the latest.

The key decision of the CDU / FDP state government for the end of the open-cast lignite mining in the Rheinische Revier is based on this schedule.

NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart (FDP) also recently said in the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" that if the expansion of renewable energies and the networks were successful, electricity from lignite could be "dispensed with earlier than planned".

One consequence would be that the Garzweiler II opencast mine would be further reduced in size and the relocation of the last villages could be dispensed with.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210507-99-510881 / 2

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