Tuesday

17th Sep 2019

Germany to phase out nuclear energy by 2022

  • Roettgen: 'It's definite. The latest end for the last three nuclear power plants is 2022' (Photo: Nicholas Sideras)

The German government announced on Monday (30 May) it will shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, calling the move "definite".

The decision, which would make Germany the first major industrial power to give up on atomic energy, came after painful discussions between the two governing parties, the centre-right CDU of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the liberal FDP.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"It's definite. The latest end for the last three nuclear power plants is 2022. There will be no clause for revision," said environment minister Norbert Roettgen in the early hours of Monday morning, reports the BBC.

Under the planned phase-out, the seven old nuclear plants taken off-grid following the nuclear crisis in Japan's Fukushshima plant in March will remain out of action. Another nuclear plant, Kruemmel, out of action for years due to technical problems, will also not be put back online.

Six additional nuclear reactors will be mothballed by the end of 2021, while the country's three newest plants will follow in 2022.

The decision represents a spectacular u-turn for Chancellor Merkel. At the end of 2010, she had promised, in the face of popular outcry, to extend the life of Germany's 17 reactors until the mid-2030s.

However, the grave problems at the Fukushima plant following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan saw German voters clamouring for reassurance about Germany's plants.

Merkel agreed to a review of nuclear policy but her back-and-forth stance on the issue is widely seen to have cost her at the ballot box in state elections.

The most recent setback occurred last week in Bremen where the anti-nuclear Greens came second, pushing Merkel's CDU into third place.

The nuclear phase-out will mean that Germany has to find other sources for the 23 percent of its energy provided by nuclear plants.

However, environment minister Roettgen sees great economic opportunities in taking the non-nuclear path.

"If we can manage this process intelligently, we will be able to increase Germany's competitiveness enormously and reap enormous pay-offs for the economy," he told the Financial Times recently.

"Everything we have to invent will provide an opportunity for our engineers to live out their ingenuity – efficiency technologies, or renewable energy technology itself."

Germany to let slip 2020 climate target

Prospective governing coalition partners give up on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 2020, saying instead they will achieve that in the early 2020s.

Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs

European People's Party group leader Manfred Weber defended Ursula von der Leyen's decision to rename a commission portfolio, partly dealing with migration, "protecting the European way of life". He said it means rescuing people in the Mediterranean.

Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing

Hungary was quizzed by EU ministers over its domestic crackdown on media, judges, academia and NGOs. Hungary's minister responded by saying the country had defended "the European way of life" for centuries, and it should be respected.

Podcast

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Opinion

How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires

Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Blackrock, and Vanguard collectively own more than $1.1bn in debt in the three largest soy, and the three largest cattle companies, and own $6bn worth of shares in these companies.

Opinion

Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal

The European parliament debates on Tuesday the fires in the Amazon region. "It goes without saying that, in light of the gravity of the situation, Europe will need to renegotiate the Mercosur agreement", writes MEP Kathleen Van Brempt.

News in Brief

  1. Apple and Ireland appeal €13bn EU tax ruling
  2. UK PM should provide witness statement, court told
  3. Italy's ex-PM Renzi quits ruling Democratic Party
  4. German top lawmaker scolds Bettel over Johnson snub
  5. Greens decide on Tuesday on talks on Five Star joining
  6. Belgian mayors give Juncker a tongue-lashing
  7. Von der Leyen defends 'way of life' slogan
  8. Court hears case on UK's pre-Brexit parliament shutdown

Podcast

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Opinion

Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

The new migration commissioner's job title, "Protecting our European way of life", rings not of pan-European solidarity or federalism - but is incorporated from the playbook of the extreme right.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
  2. Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing
  3. Trumpworld In Europe
  4. How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires
  5. Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal
  6. EU must give full support to Ukraine to dissuade Kremlin
  7. EU divided on how to protect rule of law
  8. Nordic region to become world's most sustainable and integrated

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us