Germany to choose between a coal levy and gradual phase out of coal power plants on July 1

25/06/2015 10:51 Coal

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Germany is considering two alternative proposals on how to curb CO2 emissions from the energy sector and would make a final decision on July 1, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday.

The economy ministry will now decide between its original proposal - to charge a penalty on the oldest and most polluting coal power plants -and a suggestion from trade union IG BCE to progressively phasing out coal power stations. The move came after the minister has faced a backlash from industry, which warned that the levy would result in the closure of mines and power plants, putting up to 100,000 jobs at risk. The so-called “climate levy” is aimed to help Germany reaching its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020, including 22 million tonnes in emissions from the power sector. Berlin’s attempt to meet its ambitious targets to combat climate change illustrates its major challenge. Despite a shift towards renewable energy, Germany still generates 44 per cent of its electricity from coal.

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