Germany’s coal commission agrees first post-coal strategy steps

(EurActiv, 26 Oct 2018) Members of Germany’s coal exit commission unanimously adopted on Thursday (25 October) the first major policy recommendations for those lignite mining regions affected by a future coal power phase-out. EURACTIV’s media partner Clean Energy Wire reports.

With the first part of their report completed, the commission had “created a good basis for successfully conducting the forthcoming discussions on climate and energy policy”, the four heads of the taskforce said in a press release Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, thousands of workers from the coal sector and energy-intensive industries demonstrated to save their jobs and against what they fear could become an overly hasty German coal exit.

The protest march in the Rhenish lignite mining district, not far from the symbolic Hambach Forest, was organised by unions ver.di and IG BCE to send a message to coal exit commission members, who met there to discuss measures to support regions affected by an end to coal-fired power generation.

“We will not allow ourselves to be made the victim of those who make big promises in climate policy, but let others pay the bill,” mining union IG BCE head Michael Vassiliadis told protesters.

One protester told Deutsche Welle: “The most important thing is that we can keep our jobs — this is what we are worried about. Where our energy actually comes from is less important.”

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EurActiv, 26 Oct 2018: Germany’s coal commission agrees first post-coal strategy steps