Today, the Federal Cabinet decided to establish the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment. By December 2018, the Commission will prepare a roadmap for the phase-out of coal, which will ensure that the short-, medium- and long-term climate targets are achieved. The Commission will also submit proposals for structural development in the affected regions that will serve to strengthen growth and employment.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "We will make sure to include people in the affected regions in the phase-out of coal and thus help create acceptance for our climate targets. The Commission is made up of high-calibre members and has a lot of work to do, for example: recommending measures for a socially compatible structural change, setting a deadline for the phase-out of coal in Germany, drawing up proposals for closing the gap in achieving our climate targets by 2020 and preparing a roadmap for the phase-out. I am expecting the first results ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference at the end of the year in Kattowice. This will enable us to show that Germany is taking climate action seriously."
The Commission is to develop measures to ensure the successful achievement of the 2030 energy sector target set out in the Climate Action Plan i.e. to reduce emissions by 61 to 62 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. With regard to the share of coal-based power generation, the Commission will propose suitable measures to achieve the energy sector target based on an impact assessment. It will prepare a plan for the gradual reduction and phase-out of coal-based power generation, including a deadline and the necessary legal, economic, social, renaturalisation and structural support measures. In addition, ahead of the next UN Climate Change Conference taking place from 3 to 14 December 2018 in Kattowice, the Commission is to present its recommendations for measures to help the energy sector close the gap in achieving the 40 percent reduction target for 2020 as much as possible.
By the end of October 2018, the Commission will recommend concrete measures for new, future-proof jobs in lignite regions affected by the structural change. It will design a mix of instruments for combining climate action with economic development, structural change, social cohesion and social compatibility. This will open up prospects for durable energy regions in the context of the energy transition including investments in the regions and economic sectors affected by the structural change. The final report will be presented to the German Government at the end of 2018.
The Commission will be chaired by Barbara Praetorius, Ronald Pofalla, Matthias Platzeck and Stanislaw Tillich and will comprise 28 members with voting rights. These members include representatives of environmental associations, trade unions, economic and energy associations, the affected regions and science. The composition of the Commission shows that the German Government is serious about bringing important stakeholders in society together and reaching a consensus-driven agreement on the phase-out of coal-based power.