Germany’s states are upping pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to keep coal-fired power for as long as 30 years as the nation approaches a deadline for setting an exit date from the fossil fuel.
Merkel’s administration is committed to shuttering about 120 lignite and hard-coal plants to cut emissions and plans to set a final exit point in October. As the deadline nears, six states where coal power is concentrated have banded together to keep an extended lifeline for the stations.
“A 25- to 30-year time frame to close the chapter on coal power is realistic,” said Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in an interview in Leipzig on Tuesday. “We need time to reset regional economies now dependent on coal.”
Merkel faces tough choices. Coal states run by the same parties that make up her federal coalition fret that a rapid reduction of fossil-fuel plants will leave a huge economic hole in their regions and threaten the security of power supplies.
But hard coal and lignite push out about a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, which Merkel is committed to cutting.
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