The Associated Press, The Denver Post eEdition, July 4, 2020
BERLIN» German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money. Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some $45 billion to help affected regions cope with the transition.
The plan is part of Germany’s “energy transition” — an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources. Achieving that goal is made harder than in comparable countries such as France and Britain because of Germany’s existing commitment to also phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022.
“The days of coal are numbered in Germany,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said. Greenpeace and other environmental groups have staged vocal protests against the plan, including by dropping a banner down the front of the Reichstag building Friday. They argue that the government’s road map won’t reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to meet the targets set out in the Paris climate accord.
— The Associated Press