The preparation of the Coal phase-out is approaching this Tuesday with a top of the first target: the template of a concept meeting in the Chancellery gradually.

in The evening, several Federal Ministers, the heads of the coal Commission, and the heads of government of the coal-come together-countries, at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to discussions. The Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Reiner Haseloff (CDU) in Saxony-Anhalt, Dietmar Woidke (SPD) in Brandenburg and Michael Kretschmer (CDU), Saxony, Germany-it is mainly a binding and concrete Commitments for the structural change in the brown coal regions.

In the 28-member Commission on “growth, structural change and employment” industry, trade unions, scientists and environmentalists together at the table. At the end of January, but no later than the beginning of February, the members should submit a concept for the phase – out of electricity production from brown and hard coal in Germany.

It is a question of compliance with the German climate protection goals on the one hand, and new Jobs and prospects for those on the other side. In Lusatia, the Central German area and in the Rhenish area, tens of thousands of Jobs depend directly or indirectly on the coal.

The Meeting of the trade Ministers and the four chairmen of the Commission and of the Prime Minister in the Chancellery for the Commission’s work is very important. The initial situation:

WHAT COUNTRIES WANT: The Prime Minister, calling for the restructuring of the economy 60 billion euros over the next years and decades. Woidke (SPD), warned before the Meeting in front of the cost of a quick exit. “The sooner, the higher the cost,” he said the düsseldorf “Rheinische Post” (Tuesday). So far, 1.5 billion are planned up to 2021 in the Federal budget. Finance Minister Scholz has made it clear that it will not stick to it. The three East German Prime Minister also called for a law for the structural change. It is, for example, the establishment of authorities and research institutions or the Expansion of train services. In Saxony and Brandenburg are to be elected in the fall of the country in a new way. In a “fire letter” had turned the East-Prime Minister a few weeks ago Merkel and demanded that the Commission should make specific proposals for structural change.

THE PROBLEM is that The Commission cannot make the countries of such Commitments. She has the job, a concept for the coal phaseout, including an end date, to present and to make proposals for structural change. The sovereignty over the Federal budget, however, lies in the Bundestag – and the Union leaders have already warned of large expenditure. The Commission’s proposals should be included in the 2019 planned climate protection law of the Grand coalition, the German government, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat decide. What the Commission has presented so far to the structural change, was unspecific to the East, the heads of government. You languages therefore, in the Chancellor’s office and the Commission had to go into overtime.

All of the other issues such as the exit path out of the climate-damaging coal power, compensation for businesses and workers, compensation for rising electricity prices, or the question of whether the hambach forest, near Cologne, has to make way for the coal excavator, you can theoretically only once regardless of work out. But sense only a part of a total package – and because the countries must be brought on Board.

WHAT are trade UNIONS AND environmental associations SAY: Before the Meeting on Tuesday evening, the different sides reaffirmed their demands. The district Chairman of the trade Union Confederation DGB in the coal regions of appealed with an open letter to the Chairman of the Commission: “Sustainable perspectives on sustainable investment and the creation and safeguarding of a collective agreement safe jobs” for a fair structural change is crucial, they wrote.

WWF climate expert Michael shepherd called to link financial assistance to the structural change to the accelerated phase-out of coal: “Dietmar Woidke and Michael Kretschmer demand billion for ten years of climate policy inaction. And Olaf Scholz denied the funding for a socially responsible Coal phase-out,” he criticized. These blockages were to break up.

Green party leader Anna Lena Baerbock said the German press Agency, the Prime Minister must be clear that the funds were tied to the Coal phase-out and at the same time you do not have other places to build around days like Prochim, parts of the town of Welzow, Linden field, and Pödelwitz, as well as the hambach forest would be dredged. “It is not a Wish-You-What-a list of the Prime Minister, but to concrete measures for future-oriented innovations in the coal regions.”


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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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