‘Merkel deceived us on climate’, says Germany’s Energiewende godfather

(EurActiv, 15 Jan 2019) Berlin lacks the political will to bring the energy transition forward, said Hans Josef Fell, the initiator of Germany’s world-renowned 2000 renewable energy feed-in tariff legislation, in an interview with EURACTIV.com.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting Tuesday (15 January) with the premiers of Germany’s four lignite mining states as well as the heads of the country’s so-called coal exit commission.

But the shortcomings of Germany’s energy transition are now plain to see, Fell told EURACTIV.

“The so-called coal commission is counter-productive since it delays reduction of private coal assets,” Fell said in an interview. 

“Climate protection means reducing greenhouse gas emission to zero, implying an immediate halt of fossil fuels. Only this could be termed climate protection, which would, however, require a political willingness to do so,” he added.

The Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment – dubbed the coal commission – was established by the German government on 6 June 2018 in a bid to accelerate the country’s emissions reductions and define a roadmap for a socially fair coal phase-out.

The commission was initially supposed to publish its conclusions by the end of 2018. But its last meeting was postponed to 1 February, primarily due to disagreements over how transition funds should be distributed among coal mining states.

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EurActiv, 15 Jan 2019: ‘Merkel deceived us on climate’, says Germany’s Energiewende godfather