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Germany maintains 2030 coal-exit target amid concerns

BERLIN (Transatlantic Today) — Despite growing concerns about a decrease in Russia’s gas supply, the German government stated Monday that it remains dedicated to its aim of fading out coal as a source of power by 2030. 

Last week, Russia’s Gazprom announced a significant reduction in supply to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing technical issues. The action, according to the German government, looks to be politically driven. 

Germany’s Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, stated on Sunday that the country will try to compensate for the decision by allowing more coal, a highly polluting fossil fuel, to be burned. Habeck, a Green Party member, said the decision was painful but important to reduce gas use. 

Despite Russia’s cutbacks in gas deliveries to european countries, the Dutch government announced Monday that it still aims to close the country’s largest natural gas field in 2023 or 2024, but it would also enable coal-fired power plants to operate at maximum capacity again to save gas that otherwise would be burned to generate electricity, according to ABC NEWS. 

In recent years, the government has been cutting down the usage of coal to generate electricity by permitting coal-fired power plants to run at only 35 percent of their full capacity as part of its effort to migrate to renewable power and reduce carbon emissions. 

“The risk of doing nothing is too great,” warned Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten, who also urged homeowners and businesses to do everything they can now to reduce their gas consumption in order to avoid winter shortages. 

The Netherlands has reduced the quantity of gas it pumps from a gas reserve in the northern region of Groningen in recent years due to earthquakes produced by the mining. Thousands of houses have been destroyed as a result of the extraction. 

In a coalition accord signed late last year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s 3-party administration pledged to conclude the coal phaseout by 2030, ideally. 

When asked if this is now in doubt, a spokesperson for Habeck’s ministry stated the coal withdrawal in 2030 isn’t swaying in the least. 

“It is more important than ever that it happens in 2030 — that is our view,” spokesperson Stephan Gabriel Haufe told journalists in Berlin.

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