A year after Germany’s 28-member “Coal Commission” presented a fragile compromise brown coal phase-out, in mid-January Merkel’s Grand Coalition government formally released their own plan. Breaking with the Commission’s recommendations by slowing down the pace of the phase-out, immediately greenlighting the new Datteln 4 hard coal plant and showering RWE and other coal operators with billions of Euros, it also calls for more gas plants and additional wind turbine construction limitations. Neither ensuring Germany can adhere to the Paris Agreement nor its own clean energy targets, environmental groups are outraged as investors celebrate. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes us into the dirty deal.
After months of deliberations, in late September Germany’s ruling coalition, made up of the center-right CDU/CSU and the Centrist SPD unveiled their new climate action strategy—to near universal disappointment. Now approved by the government, the plan’s architects hope a weak plan is better than none at all. L. Michael Buchsbaum summarizes
Despite increasing public pressure, both coalition parties within Merkel’s so-called Climate Cabinet favor taxes or market based trading schemes to tackle the climate crisis instead of new regulations to increase renewable energy or hard measures to phase out fossil fuels. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look
As it decarbonizes its energy sector, Germany’s transportation emissions have remained stubbornly high, even increasing in the past two years. The car industry refuses to modernize even as electric vehicles gain popularity worldwide. Claire Stam of Euractiv takes a look.
Germany’s coal commission has been launched, with the goal of a gradual exit from coal. Politicans have admitted that coal-fired output needs to be halved before 2030 to meet climate targets – but have so far refused to set a date for a complete phaseout. Michael Buchsbaum takes an in-depth look.
To continue leading the Energiewende it started, Germany now needs to follow other progressive nations and announce a swift coal exit. But the “Coal Commission” tasked with structuring the coal phaseout seems to be dragging its feet. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks. COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement was struck, was a technical affair as countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement would work from 2020 onwards. Jocelyn Timperley of Carbon Brief covers the summit’s key outcomes.
Just as COP23 was getting underway, French minister Nicolas Hulot said France was not abandoning its goal of switching partly from nuclear to renewables, just postponing it. Craig Morris says more time won’t help: nuclear may keep the lights on for now, but the French remain in the dark about nuclear’s conflict with wind & solar.
Germany has been seen as a leader in renewable energy in the European Union, but there is still a long way to go. To revitalize both European and German energy transitions, Rebecca Bertram proposes three strategies for Germany’s new government to put in place at the EU level: better goals, binding goals, and the long-awaited coal phaseout.
Germany might remain without a new government for some time, due to fundamental differences between the parties likely building a coalition: the conservative CDU, the libertarian FDP and the German Greens. But, says Craig Morris, the rise of the far right should not be overestimated.