Climate Action

Germany to phase out coal by 2038

The Federal Government in Germany has announced plans to phase out coal by 2038.

  • 29 January 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

The Federal Government in Germany has announced plans to phase out coal by 2038.

The Commission on Growth, Employment and Structural Change released a 20-year report which has agreed to cancel out coal by 2038.

With only one vote against, the commission agreed on a total of 40 billion euros in aid for the states affected by the coalition exit. The federal Government will now turn the commission report into a reliable energy concept.

Olaf ScholzIf, Federal Finance Minister, said: “If we do not lose sight of the common goal, we can develop Germany into an exemplary state of energy policy."

In the years 2023, 2026 and 2029, the Commission will undertake a review by an independent panel of experts.

In response to this review, the power plant capacity will be reduced to 17 gigawatts of brown coal and hard coal in 2030, more than halving it. Depending on the report, the withdrawal of coal could take place, according to the recommendation of the commission, by 2035.

Greenpeace have called for this target to be brought forward to 2030 to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced sooner.

It was reported that, in 2018, the production of coal accounted for 38 per cent of Germany’s energy generation. This move away from fossil fuel generation will put Germany back on track to meet the targets set at the Paris Agreement.

This news follows a report that found that the immediate phase-out of fossil fuels is crucial to meet important climate targets.

The report found that if carbon intensive technologies were replaced by carbon-free alternatives, carbon emissions would steadily decline, dropping to near zero in 40 years. This would result in a 64 per cent chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.