Germany sticks to 2030 coal exit target amid energy worries

BERLIN, 20 Jun: The German government said Monday that it remains committed to its goal of phasing out coal as a power source by 2030, despite deepening worries about a cut in Russia’s gas supplies.

Russia’s Gazprom announced last week that it was sharply reducing supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany for what it said were technical reasons. The German government says the move appears to be politically motivated.

On Sunday, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that Germany will try to compensate for the move by allowing increased burning of coal, a more polluting fossil fuel. Habeck, a member of the Green party, said the move was “bitter” but “simply necessary” to lower gas usage.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party government committed itself to completing the phaseout of coal “ideally” by 2030 in its coalition agreement late last year.

Asked Monday to what extent that is now in doubt, a spokesman for Habeck’s ministry said that “the coal exit in 2030 isn’t wobbling at all.”

“It is more important than ever that it happens in 2030 — that is our view,” spokesman Stephan Gabriel Haufe told reporters in Berlin. (AP)