Greta questions 2038 fuel exit date

FRANKFURT, August 11

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, on a visit to a German anti-coal protest camp, questioned whether the country should continue to use the fuel to generate power for another 20 years as the government plans.

Thunberg, the most visible spokeswoman of the Fridays for Future movement of students striking to demand climate action, was talking to reporters at the western German Hambach forest near Cologne.

The area has become a symbol of protest against the coal industry, prompting utility RWE to give assurances it would not touch the forest until late 2020, although it had hoped to clear it for brown coal mining and burning activities.

Plans to stop using coal by 2038, recommended by a government-appointed commission in January, and to abandon nuclear by 2022 are part of Germany’s costly transition to renewables, known as the Energiewende.

While details still have to be worked out, critics of the schedule say the country is not moving quickly enough to ditch fossil fuels, hampering progress in the reduction of greenhouse emissions that contribute to climate change. — Reuters