With the compromise of the coal Commission is secured from the point of view of the environmental associations for the preservation of the competitive Hambacher Forst in North Rhine-Westphalia. “The hambach forest is saved,” said Greenpeace managing Director Martin Kaiser, after the Commission had almost negotiated 21 hours. “In the West, brown coal-fired power plants and coal will be switched off until 2022. That was most important to us that you can get started quickly.”

the Federal environment and nature conservation (BUND) was satisfied. The head of the Association, Hubert Weiger, spoke of a “strong Signal”. The forest on the edge of the hambach brown coal open-cast mine should be cleared according to the will of the energy group RWE, in order to promote the underlying lignite. There were, however, locally heavy opposition and nationwide protests. A court had stopped the deforestation, which was approved by the authorities, for the time being.

In the final report of the Commission on “growth, structural change and employment” it says: “The Commission considers that it is desirable that the hambach forest remains. In addition, the Commission asks the governments to engage with stakeholders in a dialogue in order to relocation, in order to avoid social and economic hardship.” In the Lausitz region and in the Rhine area, several places are under threat from the mining soft.

PDF Download final report of the Commission on “growth, structural change and employment”PDF size: 5 MB

The Chairman of the coal Commission , Ronald Pofalla (CDU), praised the outcome of the Commission as a “historic day”. “It’s done,” said Pofalla in the Berlin Federal press conference during the presentation of the results. At the end of 27 28 voting members consent. “This is not a matter of course.” The former head of the Federal Chancellery and today the railway Board Pofalla is one of four co-chairs of the Commission.

“None of the employees falls on the knee”

The chief of mining Union IG BCE , Michael Vassiliadis, spoke of an “extraordinary result”. The climate goals would be that there are “proper Structural support” for the regions. “None of the employees falls on the knee.” There is a time perspective, do not make “frantic implementation” of the Coal phase-out necessary.

“The negotiated coal consensus impressively demonstrates that large-scale societal conflicts in Germany, still, as a community, to solve. He is a stern lesson for our political System,” said Patrick Graichen, Director of the think-tank Agora Energiewende .

Critical voices came from the development organization Oxfam. “The coal Commission has given the German climate targets for 2020 is de facto price. She takes it, that Germany will miss its contribution to international climate protection”, says a press release from the organization.

The German Association of energy and water industries (BDEW) sees in the concept of the coal Commission for a coal phaseout in Germany is a major contribution to climate protection. The Chairman of the BDEW General Executive management Board, Stefan Kapferer, said that the Commission had fulfilled its mandate to protect the climate. According to the concept to be replaced in the next 20 years, about 45 GW of currently installed power from climate-damaging coal-fired power plants. This was a “crazy challenge”, said Kapferer, is a member of the Commission.

the German energy-Agency the outcome of the negotiations as positive. “It is excellent that the members of the Commission have managed to come to a future result-oriented. The direction is clearly correct, even if the exact means could, of course, be in these a few months by the Commission, not yet described,” said Andreas Kuhlmann, Chairman of the management Board.

The chief Executive of the Association of municipal enterprises (VKU) , Katherina Reiche, stated that the report was a good basis to finish the coal-fired power generation, under the assumptions of security of supply, the chains, the receipt of value creation, and climate protection, as well as the innovation capacity of regions. Also a member of the Commission. “We set up the expectation of the Federal government, the recommendations of the Commission.”


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.