Germany to pressure coal plants closed?

Germany is reportedly planning to pressure more of its coal plants to close so it can keep to its ambitious goal for slashing carbon emissions. The nation’s economy ministry is allegedly […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Germany is reportedly planning to pressure more of its coal plants to close so it can keep to its ambitious goal for slashing carbon emissions.

The nation’s economy ministry is allegedly drafting laws asking companies to cut emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2020, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

This would affect three of the country’s biggest energy companies, E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall, which would be able to pick which plants to close, the document apparently states.

Yesterday German ministers denied they would force the closures.

Germany has set itself a challenging target of 40% of its emissions by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. Over the summer German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared a “U-turn is needed – worldwide” on the issue of climate change.

But the country faces difficult decisions as a public backlash in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster prompted it to start closing nuclear power plants.