Germany - The difficult departure from coal - August 31, 2016

The government decided to close the old lignite-fuelled power stations in the Lusatia mining region. Berlin has committed to reducing CO2 emissions 40% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. Yet the country still relies on highly polluting coal combustion for over 40% of its electricity. The government’s decision is a worry for Vattenfall, the owner of Lusatia’s mines and power plants. The Swedish company directly employs 8,000 people in the region. Its subcontractors employ another 9,000. To compensate for the closure of the power stations, the state plans to pay out a total of €1.6 billion to the companies concerned. The European Commission approved this measure. Thanks to the aid, Vattenfall plans no redundancies at Lusatia. No aid will go to the subcontractors and the authorities in the region estimate that a thousand jobs will be lost.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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