Germany to phase out coal

Germany’s reliance on coal power might be coming to an end. The largest energy carbon emitter in Europe, producing twice the greenhouse gases of the UK) has endorsed welcomed an official proposal to phase out coal-fired power stations.

The only issue is that the date set is in two decade’s time - by 2038. The proposal put forward by a government commission is estimated to cost in the region of $50bn, falling to the taxpayer to fund, and of course, this may become a victim of political wrangling. The cost would include compensation to miners and owners and subsidies to coal producing regions.

Germany has a difficulty in addressing its energy needs, attempting to reduce coal whilst not becoming overly reliant on gas from Russia, added to which it is committed to a complete nuclear phase-out and yet has vested interests in mining domestic lignite, or brown coal, which is highly polluting.

Concerns have also been raised that in order to meet the target Germany may resort to ‘pollution offshoring’ by purchasing energy from other countries, increasing their emissions whilst ostensibly appear to reduce its own.

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