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German Federal Government appoints Schellnhuber to coal commission

06/06/2018 - The German Federal Government appointed Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to their coal commission. The high-ranking "commission for growth, structural change and employment" - so the official name - is supposed to present a strategy for coal until the end of this year. Fossil fuels are the cause for a significant part of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany and the world, and hence for climate risks. The composition of the expert panel had been in discussion for some time, it will be steered by no less than four ministries: Economic Affairs, Environment, Labour and Interior.
German Federal Government appoints Schellnhuber to coal commission

PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is a member of the newly appointed coal commission of the German Federal Government. Photo: Batier

"It is unusual to conduct such a fateful change in a modern industrialized society by discourse and sensible compromise, rather than by government enactment. If this enterprise succeeds, the political culture in Germany will be a big winner - and of course the climate protection urgently needed, as increasing weather extremes show. As a scientist in the Commission, I will argue in particular that a hesitant phasing out of coal will be punished by the laws of physics."

Schellnhuber is also Chairman of the High Level Panel on Decarbonization Pathways of the European Commission. The German Coal Commission is chaired by the former Prime Ministers of Brandenburg and Saxony, Matthias Platzeck (SPD) and Stanislaw Tillich (CDU), as well as board member of Deutsche Bahn, Ronald Pofalla, and the political scientist and economist, Barbara Praetorius, former deputy director of the ecological think tank Agora Energiewende. Among the members are Martin Kaiser (Greenpeace), Michael Vassiliadis (IG BCE) and Jutta Allmendinger (WZB).

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