Germany to move ahead quickly on implementing coal exit

(Reuters, 27 Jan 2019) "We need a whole series of laws", including one to secure new jobs and set out plans for closing coal-fired power plants, says economy minister.

Germany's ruling coalition will move quickly to begin implementing the recommendations of a government-appointed commission for exiting coal power by 2038, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told German broadcaster ARD on Sunday.

Altmaier, a conservative, said he was in close touch with Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, about the issue, and some money had already been earmarked in the 2019 budget to get started with various measures.

"We need a whole series of laws", including one that would secure new jobs and set out plans for closing coal-fired power plants, Altmaier said, promising quick action after a review of a hard-won compromise proposal finalised early on Saturday.

The plans call for shutting down the last of Germany's coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, and providing at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid to regions affected by the phase-out.

Altmaier said details would still need to be worked after the proposals were reviewed in coming days.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, a Social Democrat, said exiting coal would send a positive signal internationally, and studies completed by her ministry showed the shift would "by no means lead to higher electricity prices".

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Reuters, 27 Jan 2019: Germany to move ahead quickly on implementing coal exit