Berlin, Germany – Greenpeace Germany welcomes the plan to phase out coal in Germany in less than two decades, but emphasises that an end date of 2038 is unacceptable. This phase-out date does not meet the urgency of the IPCC Special Report, which says industrialised countries must reduce coal use by 2030 if we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

After 21 hours of negotiations, Greenpeace and other environmental organisations reached a historic milestone:  Germany will quit coal; no additional coal plants will be built. The Coal Commission also explicitly stressed the need to protect the Hambach Forest.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“Germany has finally stepped up and joined most of its European neighbours in setting a phase-out date for coal, and it deserves credit for that. But this target of 2038 is not going to protect Germany or other countries from the dangerous impacts of climate change.  Every week we see more and more evidence that climate change is accelerating, bringing with it forest fires, violent storms and other extreme weather. That should be pushing countries to increase their ambition, deliver more and deliver it faster.”

“Young people across Germany a have been demonstrating how important it is to them that there is strong action on climate change.  If they are not to be let down, this first step must be quickly followed by bolder action. We will continue to stand with them, fighting for the change we need to protect our future.”

Greenpeace Germany has been a member of the Coal Commission, and remains committed to working with all stakeholders in Germany to bring about the changes necessary to prevent the chaos of extreme climate change.

Martin Kaiser, Executive Director of Greenpeace Germany, said:

“This compromise shakes Germany out of its lethargy on climate action. CO2 emissions in Germany has barely changed for years because of lignite burning, so it is good news that the coal phase-out will not be delayed any longer. However the report has a major flaw: switching off the last coal plant in 2038 is not fast enough to answer what tens of thousands of people have been asking when they demand a solution to the climate emergency.  We will continue to push for a faster coal phase-out, to protect the planet and people everywhere from the life-threatening impacts of climate change.”

As the world’s 4th largest economy and the 6th biggest emitter of CO2, with the biggest coal fleet in Europe, Germany can show how it’s possible to transition away from fossil fuels, to put the world on track for the temperature limits set out in the Paris Agreement.


Media Contacts:

Gregor Kessler, Greenpeace Germany Comms/Press Lead, [email protected], +49 (0)151 72 70 29 18

Marie Bout, Greenpeace International European Energy Transition & Old Coal Comms – German Coal Phase out, [email protected], +33 6 05 98 70 42

Greenpeace International Press Desk (available 24 hours): +31 (0)20 718 2470, [email protected]

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