Europe

Australia can learn from German coal exit

Australia has no plans to transition from coal but if it does, it could learn from the experience in Germany, an expert says.

WHAT CAN AUSTRALIA LEARN FROM GERMANY'S COAL TRANSITION?

WHY DID IT HAPPEN?

* The last black coal mine in Germany was shut in 2018 for economic reasons.

* Brown coal mines and power plants will be phased out by 2038 for climate change reasons.

* Germany has a target to reduce emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, and for 80-95 per cent by 2050

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA'S ATTITUDE TO COAL?

* Australia recently approved the new Adani Carmichael mine and has no plans to phase out coal power.

* Australia has committed to an emissions reduction of 26-28 per cent by 2030.

WHAT WAS SUCCESSFUL ABOUT GERMANY'S TRANSITION OUT OF BLACK COAL?

* 80,000 workers were redeployed, reskilled, or given good pension deals with zero forced redundancies since 2000.

* Unions and employers worked together to smooth the transition.

* It happened over a long time period to allow adjustment.

* All levels of government worked together to provide support to restructure in the region.

WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES FOR GERMANY'S BROWN COAL EXIT?

* Germany has the biggest brown coal industry in the world with 20,000 workers to transition.

* The industry still wants to relocate entire villages to dig coal before the exit deadline.

* The transition out of the industry is estimated to cost EUR40 billion ($A64.7 billion).

* The distribution of this money is yet to be determined.

* The electricity network needs updating to handle supply from decentralised sources.

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