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Coal is Dust
« on: September 22, 2019, 03:19:39 PM »

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said Germany would join the Powering Past Coal Alliance on Sunday. Schulze made the announcement to German Funke media group ahead of Monday’s UN climate summit.

The move comes in the wake of large demonstrations across the world on Friday, led by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and her movement Fridays for Future.

On the day of the demonstrations, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her governing coalition unveiled a new proposal to tackle climate change.

Worth more than €54 billion ($59 billion), Merkel’s plan aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, in comparison with 1990 levels.

Read more: The faces of the Global Climate Strike

“The coal exit is a central pillar of global climate protection,” Schulze said, adding that a set of resolutions agreed to by Germany’s coalition government proved that the country was “officially” committed to ending its dependency on coal.

“With that, we can finally also join the alliance of coal-exit countries,” Schulze told the group of local German newspapers.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance was founded in 2017 and is comprised of 30 national governments, whose objective is to halt new construction of coal plants, end international funding for coal and adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

“When a big industrial country like Germany turns away from nuclear and coal and transitions step by step towards meeting its energy needs entirely with renewable energies, that sends a strong signal to other parts of the world,” Schulze said.

Read more: Opinion: Climate protection? Too little, too late and too timid

Merkel unveils climate plan

Germany is hoping to shut down all its coal-powered plants by 2038.

Merkel’s push to address climate change with stronger measures was not without criticism, from both industry leaders and environmental groups.

Michael Vassiliadis, head of the IG BCE trade union representing coal, chemicals and energy industries, slammed the governing coalition’s proposal.

“It might be a step towards more climate protection — but it remains to be seen how big that is, how expensive and what real impact it will have,” Vassiliadis told Germany’s dpa news agency.

Read more: Opinion: The eco-warriors of climate protection

Environmental groups and some scientists also criticized the government’s plan for taking a piecemeal approach, whose impact they believe will be limited.

But the government pushed back. Helge Braun, chief of staff in Merkel’s Chancellery, defended the plan agreed by Cabinet ministers, saying it was necessary to ensure an effective transition to the carbon-free economy.

“We want all people to change their behavior so that they behave in a more climate-friendly manner. But we want them to do this voluntarily, and we also want a well-managed transition,” Braun said.

Watch video02:02
Germany announces new climate protection package

jcg/sms (dpa, AFP)

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DW RECOMMENDS
German environment minister says government must act on climate now

Germany’s environment minister says the government should fall if coalition parties can’t agree on measures to reduce damaging emissions. The country is one of the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases. (07.09.2019)
Germany’s ruling coalition plans to spend €40 billion on climate protection

The governing coalition parties in Germany have reportedly agreed to a deal to ensure the country meets its 2030 goals to combat climate change. The government is set to unveil its climate package on September 20. (15.09.2019)
+++ Fridays for Future global climate strike — live updates +++

Some 5,000 protests have taken place around the world, culminating in a New York City march led by Greta Thunberg. From Australia to Thailand to Germany, young people challenged politicians to act. Read the latest here. (20.09.2019)
Opinion: Climate protection? Too little, too late and too timid

As millions of people took to the streets worldwide to demand action on climate change, the German government approved a raft of new measures. But they fell way short of requirements, writes DW’s Martin Muno. (20.09.2019)
Opinion: The eco-warriors of climate protection

Germany is only responsible for around 2% of the world’s carbon emissions. And there’s a quick and easy way to reduce that even further, as DW’s Felix Steiner argues in this polemic. (20.09.2019)
Global climate strike protest in Berlin bridges generations as adults join in

In Germany, Fridays for Future protests have moved beyond a children’s rally. (20.09.2019)
The faces of the Global Climate Strike

September 20 kicks off a week of climate action protests. Inspired by Fridays for Future, millions are expected to turn out across the globe. DW spoke to people in several countries about what’s driving them to protest. (20.09.2019)
WWW LINKS


https://www.dw.com/en/germany-to-join-alliance-to-phase-out-coal/a-50532921
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