Germany has agreed to end its reliance on polluting coal power stations by 2038, in a long-awaited decision that will have major ramifications for Europe’s attempts to meet its Paris climate change targets. The country is the last major bastion of coal-burning in north-western Europe and the dirtiest of fossil fuels still provides nearly 40% of Germany’s power, compared with 5% in the UK , which plans to phas e the fuel out entirely by 2025 . After overnight talks, the German coal exit commission of 28 members from industry, politicians and NGOs, which has worked since last summer to thrash out a timetable for ditching coal power, agreed an end date of 2038. A review in 2032 will decide if the deadline can be brought forward to 2035. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a member of the commission and an adviser to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said: “This is an important step on the road to the post-fossil age – a step that also opens up new perspectives for the affected regions through innovation-driven structural change.” But he said it had been difficult to reach a consensus on how quickly to phase out coal. Stefanie Langkamp, a coal expert […]

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