Grazweiler open-cast lignite mine

© Adobe Stock/AnnaReinert

Today, the Cabinet took note of the draft for an agreement under public law with the operators of lignite-fired power plants and agreed that it should be signed. Before the two contracting parties can do so, the Bundestag needs to adopt the Act on the Phase-out of Coal-fired Power Plants and accept the text of the draft agreement. The European Commission’s approval under state-aid law is also required.

Said Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier: “The agreement under public law with the operators of lignite-fired power plants is a milestone. It is now certain that we will be able to end the age of electrical power from lignite and hard coal in a way that is planned and makes good sense economically. At the same time, we are shaping structural change in the regions affected, creating fresh prospects and new jobs in the coal-mining areas.”

Said Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Svenja Schulze: “We’re now putting the phase-out of coal on track. In signing this agreement, the Federal Government is putting the findings of the Coal Commission into practice. We’re creating the certainty that is required for planning. To me, it has been important to make sure that the agreement preserves our scope for environmental and climate-policy action. The agreement also explicitly gives room for all shutdown dates set for after 2030 to be moved forward by three years, without the need for additional compensation payments. Furthermore, it has been made clear that all compensation payments must be used to remove the negative impact of open-cast mining. We are ready for the phase-out of coal and lignite. The first lignite-fired power installation will be shut down before the end of this year. At the same time, we are supporting the regions affected in their structural development and are creating new, future-proof local jobs there.”

The draft text of the agreement (in German), which will be concluded under public law, will shortly be published on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.