Germany can end coal power much earlier than 2038

(Climate Change News, 29 Jan 2019) The market can deliver much faster end to coal power than proposed last week, but it needs a confident signal from the German government

A hard-won compromise has been agreed in Germany over the future of its power system.

The government welcomed an official proposal to phase out coal-fired power from the country’s energy mix no later than 2035-2038.

Setting an end date is a welcome first step, and this recommendation should quickly be approved and translated into law. However, the speed of the switch away from coal has to accelerate if Germany is to maximise the economic and social benefits of the zero-carbon transition, and deliver its commitment as part of the Paris Agreement.

For Germany to harness the full potential of the transition, it needs to step up its ambition and phase out coal-fired power by 2030.

Given ongoing cost reductions in renewables and growing demand from businesses to be powered by clean energy, the market will likely deliver the end of coal in Germany earlier than is currently thought possible. By embracing this momentum and setting bold policies to implement the coal phase-out, the German government can send a clear signal to business that it backs their efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and deliver the policy landscape that will accelerate corporate access to markets for renewable electricity.

Leading companies are increasingly demanding renewable power and shunning coal. Coal is responsible for over 800,000 premature deaths per year globally and many millions more serious and minor illnesses. In Europe alone, coal is responsible 23,300 of those deaths. To date over 160 of the world’s most influential companies have committed to source 100% renewable electricity through RE100*.

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Climate Change News, 29 Jan 2019: Germany can end coal power much earlier than 2038