Germany pledges to protect economy interests in coal exit
"We have to focus on organizing the move away from coal in a responsible way for the regions where this is produced, for the companies and for society as a whole," said Hendricks at an energy conference in Berlin.
"We have to find a way which gives a future to the people and regions affected," she said, "we will make sure that justified interests of the economy will be protected."
Hendricks didn't mention when Germany would exit the coal industry, but revealed her ministry was working on a national climate protection plan which would outline measures to meet Germany's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 95 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2050.
Accounting for around 40 percent of power generation, coal remains a major energy source in Germany as the country plans to totally abandon nuclear power by 2022 and rely mainly on renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
"Coal fired energy is something that is still required as a bridge towards the new energy era, but even this bridge is limited," Hendricks said. ■