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Wrangling Over German Coal Exit Talks Reveals Difficult Task Ahead

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Clean Energy Wire

Germany struggles to get its highly anticipated coal exit task force on track.

The government on Wednesday postponed at the last minute the official launch of the phase-out commission for the third time. The quarrels over the commission’s leadership and remit bear witness to the enormous task ahead, and also foreshadow difficult negotiations. However, the government insists that its schedule to name an end date for coal by the end of the year will be kept.

The German government removed the official launch of Germany’s coal exit commission from the cabinet agenda only hours before the meeting was due to start. The third deferral of the body tasked with planning the phase-out of Germany’s most important fossil power source hints at the enormous challenges that lie ahead.

A government spokesperson said some “questions regarding personnel” still needed to be resolved but said the commission’s objectives had been agreed on. The fresh delay of the comission’s launch did not affect the commission’s schedule, the spokesperson added. The commission’s timetable stipulates a first report to the government by October, proposals for closing Germany’s climate gap for 2020 before the COP24 in Poland, and the final report by year-end, a government document seen by the Clean Energy Wire said.

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