The German Coal Commission

A Roadmap for a Just Transition from Coal to Renewables


Key findings at a glance:

  1. The recommendations of the Coal Commission are an important milestone in the German energy policy debate: Germany has now resolved to phase out both nuclear energy and coal, and is fully committed to developing renewable energy. For decades,
    Germany s economy was reliant on energy from lignite and hard coal; in the future, renewables will serve as a basis for economic prosperity.
  2. The Commission’s proposals, if fully implemented, will lead to CO2 savings of some
    one billion tonnes by 2038. In the absence of implementation, CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants will only decline at a slow rate. However, the Coal Compromise is not sufficient for Germany to meet its 2030 carbon emissions target. Considerable additional
    measures are required, especially in the industrial, building, and transport sectors.
  3. The Coal Compromise will ensure a just transition for coal regions and employees. The
    compromise guarantees that no worker will be left high and dry and that coal mining regions
    will have sufficient time and resources to adapt economically. To this end, the compromise
    foresees 2 billion euros in federal spending per year- which in parts can also be understood as compensation for structural policy failures since German reunification especially in Eastern Germany.
  4. While the Coal Compromise envisions full phase-out occurring in 2038, earlier
    achievement of this goal is likely. Periodic reviews in 2023, 2026, 2029, and 2032 will offer policymakers an opportunity to react to a worsening climate crisis with additional
    measures. a socially equitable acceleration of the phase-out.


  • Agora Energiewende, Germany