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Merkel Backtracking On Climate Targets

August 28, 2018

By Paul Homewood


From Channel News Asia:



BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected on Sunday a proposal, floated by the European Commission last month, of setting new, stricter emissions cuts targets, saying EU countries should focus on meeting the targets they have already set themselves.

The Commission’s climate change chief, Miguel Arias Canete, said last month he was considering increasing from 40 to 45 percent the size of cuts to harmful carbon dioxide emissions that EU countries should target by 2030 in response to evidence that climate change was gathering pace.

"I’m not particularly happy about these new proposals," Merkel told ARD public television. "I think we should first stick to the goals we have already set ourselves. I don’t think permanently setting ourselves new goals makes any sense."


And the reason is very easy to see, as Bloomberg report:


A giant excavator conducts lignite mining operations in Garzweiler, Germany.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

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.

The six states, which includes North-Rhine Westphalia, home to utilities RWE AG, Uniper SE and STEAG GmbH, this week petitioned a group set up by Merkel to plot a coal exit, demanding that it strikes a balance between climate goals, energy security and power prices.

The 28-member “coal commission” of government aides, labor unions, utilities and environmentalists tasked with setting a coal power exit date, mapping out closures and spelling out how to substitute coal power.

State premiers such as Kretschmer and the leaders of North-Rhine Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony are concerned that Germany’s lackluster record in cutting emissions may tempt Merkel to seek a quick fix by closing some of the oldest coal plants.


“The temptation is there,” said Kretschmer. “That would be premature indeed.”

As many as 65,000 direct and indirect jobs hang on coal power generation and lignite mining, according to Psephos GmbH, a think tank. Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt — all signatories of this week’s letter to the commission — face regional elections next year, which will be fought by the populist Alternative for Germany party.

Kretschmer and other coal-state leaders say they’re ardent supporters of Germany’s Energy Shift.

“The crux is we have to get it right,” said Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke in Leipzig. “There are 40 coal regions in the EU and they’re all watching what Germany does. Get it wrong and we’ll be a role model for none.”


Needless to say, for Germany to keep coal alive up to 2050 would drive a coach and horses through EU climate targets, and will certainly make it nigh impossible to force eastern countries such as Poland to give up coal power.

  1. HotScot permalink
    August 28, 2018 7:31 pm


    I’ve told you before, stop calling me a vole!

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      August 28, 2018 9:05 pm

      You can see what she’s doing, Surely……

  2. David Parker permalink
    August 28, 2018 7:35 pm

    “The Commission’s climate change chief, Miguel Arias Canete, said last month he was considering increasing from 40 to 45 percent the size of cuts to harmful carbon dioxide emissions that EU countries should target by 2030 in response to evidence that climate change was gathering pace.” Where is this proven evidence then

    • matthew dalby permalink
      August 30, 2018 7:21 am

      More importantly who is Miguel Arias Canete? My guess is an unelected beurocrat with no scientific background, and yet he is trying to enact policies that will affect everyone in the E.U. The sooner we get Brexit sorted and get the hell out the better.

  3. August 28, 2018 7:41 pm

    I would very much like to see this evidence which shows climate change is “gathering pace”

  4. August 28, 2018 8:22 pm

    It’s the usual political conundrum – crackpot climate ideology versus sound economics and energy security.

  5. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    August 28, 2018 8:35 pm

    I thought the Germans, as pragmatic people, would have by now recognised the costly futility, both of setting a “good” example by decarbonising and of the uselessness of trying to change the climate, especially when the “big emitters” do not try.

    • Asmilwho permalink
      August 29, 2018 8:03 am

      Pragmatic yes, but they also love to see themselves as pioneers or role models.

      “Die Welt soll genesen am deutschen Wesen” is an old saying, which is often (mis)interpreted as meaning the world would get better by adopting German practices.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    August 28, 2018 9:13 pm

    Which portion is the harmful carbon dioxide emissions?

    I think they can declare they have stopped 100% of the harmful emissions.

  7. Emrys Jones permalink
    August 28, 2018 9:28 pm

    I have thought for some time that Merkel does not believe in AGW.

  8. Joe Public permalink
    August 28, 2018 9:49 pm

    The greenies orgasmed over Energiewende.

  9. Bidefordcamel permalink
    August 28, 2018 10:50 pm

    Makes the UK’s position with the Climate Change Act look even more ridiculous. The masters of the EU are having second thoughts.

  10. August 28, 2018 11:30 pm

    DenmarkUK extension cable the longest in the world.

    There are some really fruity claims in the article at boosting this scheme.


    “We will be able to sell our power in a larger market when we have a surplus of renewable energy”

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 29, 2018 12:12 am

      I wonder what sort of weather would allow England to have surplus wind generation while Denmark has not enough, or the reverse situation.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        August 29, 2018 10:04 am

        What will happen is that Norway will have free electricity, being able to use surpluses from Denmark and UK directly or to recharge pumped storage, selling hydro back when the wind isn’t blowing. When the wind is blowing there’s a surplus nobody wants so possibly Norway will be paid to take it.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        August 30, 2018 12:33 am

        Norway doesn’t waste power by using it for pumping. They simply reduce hydro production and use the imported power themselves. That saves water that othwise would have been used to generate power. Norway’s power supply is predominantly hydro, with links to Sweden for nuclear power during droughts or after snowless winters, as well as Denmark and the Netherlands to help balance their wind, and minor links to Finland and Russia.

  11. Athelstan permalink
    August 29, 2018 8:11 am

    “German coal power keeping the lights on”

    says the above graph. I don’t quite believe the 38. point twooooo % “clean energy” section but then again it is green boys bloomberg ain’t it?

    and COAL…….COAL and the dirty brown stuff .

    lucky old Germany huh?

    Meanwhile, over the theresa the green loony lalaland, she’s shutting down coal left right and centre………………Hmm, what’s our coal fired capacity reduced to now? <30% – are we f**king mad? no we aren't but we're run by green madmen.and wimin – take a bow claire (perry) and maybot.(and previously amber crudd). Birdmincers ain't gonna do it, now matter how many they plant in the ground.

    |In a race to industrial suicide the Indian, Chinese, Japanese cheer us on and Donald J Trump looks slightly bemused, as the UK's green loonies contend to be more green than the EU green loonies.

    Germany says nein.

    • August 29, 2018 10:21 am

      You’re probably right about our current crop of politicians, Athelstan, but just every now and again (in one of my occasional fits of benevolence!) I wonder how many of them really believe this stuff but just get carried along because “everyone else does” so it must be right.

      I keep being being reminded of an incident at our local rugby club the day of Princess Diana’s funeral. First day of the season, TV showing the funeral, half-a-dozen of us at the bar. In a lull in the conversation one of our senior members said, “Tell me, am I the only one …” At which point the rest of us, almost as one, said “No!”

      I wait in hope for that Princess Di moment (or emperor’s new clothes moment, I suppose) to strike our politicians when they all wake up,and agree that UK energy policy is a load of bolox and has been for almost two decades. The pressure on people not to break ranks is considerable.I’m sure we’ve all had it at times when setting yourself against the groupthink appears to have no upside until one person breaks ranks and the groupthink simply goes ffft!

      Roll on the day, but I fear it will have to come in its own time. I don’t think you can force it.

      • dave permalink
        August 29, 2018 12:07 pm

        “…really believe…”

        I have known a few politicians in several countries, and they actually do believe a lot of what they say. It is that decades of appealing to the lowest common denominator – and dodging the death gaze of the left wing, unfair, sensationalist media – has rotted their minds, so they now ARE the lowest common denominator. Oh! One part of their mind does not rot – the part which calculates what is to their own advantage.

        There is, however, one understandable reason for their blank stares. If a politician hearkened to and discussed the opinions of everyone who came up to him, he would be overwhelmed by the sheer barrage, and repetition, of banal, ignorant, emotional drivel. So they ignore it. Unfortunately, they ignore everyone after a while – even really smart people. Perhaps especially the latter!

    • Athelstan permalink
      August 29, 2018 7:43 pm

      Yes Mike, a good reply too.

      This has niggled at me all day, “Tell me, am I the only one …”

      I’ve been attempting to finishing the sentence and although the possibilities are somewhat great something, the words keep returning, repeatedly coming back, to the effect of,

      ‘Tell me, am I the only one who doesn’t give a monkey’s about the untimely death of the lass kiiled by an out of control driver – in a Parisian underpass’?

  12. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 29, 2018 2:20 pm


  13. saparonia permalink
    August 30, 2018 12:44 pm

    No point wringing out the washing when it’s dry, EU is grabbing at straws to rectify their money blundering

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