This report examines the positive and negative elements of the coal transition process in Germany. The authors propose nine benchmarks for governing coal phaseouts in Europe and elsewhere. A timely and just coal phaseout requires good leadership, transparency, social inclusion, and the legal flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, among other aspects.
Looking at the legislation shaping Germany’s coal phaseout, the authors argue that its decision to set a rigid deadline created an unstable transition process and generated conflict. They suggest that the lack of flexibility in the country’s legal framework will result in an unsynchronized coal exit with no room for “future governments to adjust the pathways and end date.” Although a national commission was created to oversee the phaseout, the authors criticize the lack of clarity regarding the implementation of its recommendations. They claim that regional and local stakeholders were not sufficiently involved in the phaseout process and call for aligning just transition measures with climate and sustainable development targets