Of a “historic feat”. At least the comments of the German Newspapers to the negotiation result of the coal Commission are not nice words. While some media see also burdens on the citizens. But now, finally, a decision on the further implementation of the energy transition, is generally welcomed.

The last coal-fired power plant in Germany is the latest to go in the year 2038 from the network , so the vote of the experts after a 21-hour marathon session on Saturday. And up to the year 2022 stone and brown coal – fired power plants with a capacity of 12.5 gigawatts off until 2030 then more blocks with even seven gigawatts overall performance will follow.

For the protection of the climate is the recommendation in principle, a good message. But what does it mean in Detail? Four scientists enter the MIRROR information.

What is the meaning of the coal compromise for the achievement of Germany national climate targets?

Germany has undertaken to reduce CO2-emissions up to the end of the next decade compared to the 1990 at least 55 percent . Ottmar Edenhofer from the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research (PIK) with the coal keeps the exit plan is quite feasible. “The climate objectives of the Federal government, by 2030, to be achieved according to the current Plan, it is very likely,” says the economist. “Positive is the reasonably high goals at the Start of the exit programme up to 2022. The 12.5 gigawatts are a strong Start, and I welcome it.”

“The coal consensus is a good place to start for more climate protection in Germany,” says Patrick Graichen, head of the Berlin think tank Agora Energiewende. However, in contrast to Edehofer he complained that the decision of the rich, “the German climate protection target for 55 per cent fewer CO2 emissions by 2030”.

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This would have to be lowered, the emissions in the buildings and – “especially”, the researcher says – in the sector also. “And also the industry will have to make their contribution,” says Graichen. Also, the energy economist Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for economic research in Berlin, made similar comments.

How it looks on an international level with the climate Treaty of Paris?

The answer to this question is complicated. This is partly due to the fact that the Treaty of Paris, holds more than a goal . The States of the world committed themselves to the end of 2015, although due to global warming “ well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels”. At the same time they had promised, however, that “efforts be made” to limit the Plus on only 1.5 degrees .

the impact of temperature rise on Ecosystems, on coral reefs, on sea-level rise and ocean acidification should be kept as low as possible. (The full text of the Treaty can be read here.)

And at least compliance with the more stringent of 1.5-degree target was the result of the coal Commission to , warns climate researcher Brigitte Knopf from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin: “If you create the bar of only 1.5 degrees of temperature rise, is not the strategy of the coal Commission, paris-compatible.” In this case, the world is still permitted amount of CO2 emissions is so low that “for the coal because there is no room for more,” said button.

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Thus, the experts of the world climate Council (IPCC) had declared in a special report in the past year, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial time, “a rapid and far-reaching” changes necessary. Far-reaching of the planned phase-out of lignite in Germany is certainly not, very quickly, he is against it. The Berlin-based Think-Tank Climate Analytics, had demanded last autumn, a complete end to the coal-fired power generation by 2030 at the latest, to the 1.5-degree target.

it May turn out quite differently?

Yes. “For example, currently not busy , could be coal power plants , brown coal-fired power plants taken off-line to step in,” says button. Similar fears also Director of PIK Edenhofer expresses. This means: Currently, the operation of some coal may not be worth it-power-plant blocks, because brown coal power is cheaper – the lignite-fired power plant, but then from the grid, the coal plants for a certain period of time but financially attractive. The Problem is that The CO2 emissions would decrease in this case is minimal.

“The climate goals can only be met, if the recommendations of the coal Commission be implemented as soon as possible,” says economy, Kemfert researcher. Old and inefficient coal-fired power plants would have to go as fast as possible from the network. In addition, a significant reduction of the remaining capacity must be a “” – so not just a brown coal by a coal-fired power plant is replaced.


How the coal is permanently out of the market?

One possibility is the introduction of a minimum price for the pollution of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide. This would make the operation of coal-fired power plants unprofitable . He could, however, only be introduced in the European composite. In the paper, the coal Commission’s award, in the best case is of such a minimum, indirectly, speech.

last autumn, PIK-boss edenhofer, together with Christoph Schmidt, the head of the economic wise men had presented, in the MIRROR, a detailed Plan for the CO2 minimum price. According to the calculations of the CO2-price in the year 2020 should start at 20 Euro per Tonne and then up to 35 euros in 2030 to rise .

converted to the new concept for the coal phaseout, he may be even a bit higher. “Between 35 and 45 euros per Tonne , depending on how the fuel prices for Gas and coal,” says Edenhofer. “This could be used to create planning certainty to investors, and the revenue to the people give back – which would both create the most important resource of all: trust.”

climate protection-a pioneer Scandinavia

The Treaty of Paris is based on voluntary Commitments of the States for CO2 reduction. This should be the time of far-reaching, and have obliged the countries. But how much you reduce exactly, depends on each of them. The current Commitments would lead, according to experts from the Climate Action Tracker, until the end of the century to a global average Temperature of about three degrees .

“The Status quo in the objectives is not enough,” warns Carl-Friedrich Schleußner of Climate Analytics. Of a aggravation of the German climate goals of the coal Commission was not in the paper, however, speech . How to make it better, showed the five Nordic countries . You have to put at the end of last week, with a view to strengthen their national Efforts for climate protection until 2020.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.