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Greenpeace Energy calls for legal adjustments in case of carbon leakage

Federal payments to state governments and corporations in the course of the coalition exit are to be linked to a decentralised and citizen-oriented expansion of renewable energies. This is what eco-energy provider Greenpeace Energy is demanding from the German government with a package of legal measures presented today. This is to ensure that renewable energy can be quickly built on former lignite opencast mines. Politicians must make this legally binding, according to Greenpeace Energy. Together with the lawyer dr. Roda Verheyen's catalog of measures calls for further adjustments in mining law and in the EEG in order to facilitate the realisation of wind and solar power plants on former open-cast mines. "The Federal Government has now realised for itself that the expansion of renewable energies must be accelerated.

Many former open-cast mining areas are excellently suited for growing green electricity, as evidenced by a report commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics. The areas can be expected comparatively low challenges in nature conservation and acceptance. However, they can only be used for a rapid, comprehensive renewal expansion if political and legal measures are taken in parallel with the carbon offsetting. Therefore, Greenpeace Energy calls on the Federal Government to take four concrete legal measures without delay:

1) Structural aid must be interlinked with renewables expansion : In the agreements between the federal government and lignite countries on the financial aid for coping with structural change - for example in a future structural strengthening act - the disbursement of these funds should be tied to the consideration that the countries quickly meet the requirements create for the use of former lignite mining areas with renewable energies.

2) Compensation only for area assignment :In negotiations with coal-fired power plant operators, the federal government is to ensure that lignite companies, in particular, cede suitable open-cast mines to charitable bodies. These bodies - such as foundations or institutions under public law - are to lend the space in the interest of a structural change that promotes acceptance to those actors who combine the construction and operation of renewable energies with the greatest possible participation of local people and high regional added value. The coal compromise provides for compensation payments to the coal companies for power plant closures - even if, for example, the Scientific Service of the Bundestag does not classify such payments as legally necessary.

3) Facilitate the rapid reuse of open pit mines with renewable energies in the Federal Mining Law (BBergG) : The Federal Government should immediately initiate a change to the BBergG with the goal of far too long transitional periods between lignite mining and subsequent use of the corresponding Reduce opencast mining areas through a renewal expansion.

4) Improve conditions for photovoltaic systems on former lignite mining sites in the EEG: The construction of photovoltaic open-space systems is limited in the Renewable Energy Sources Act to a narrowly defined catalog of area types. The Federal Government should immediately bring about a change in the corresponding provisions in the EEG so that lignite mines can be included explicitly in this catalog.

"Renewable energies can create new jobs and economic prospects in the lignite mining areas. In this way, they make a valuable and sustainable contribution to shaping the ecological structural change to the benefit of local people, "says Sönke Tangermann. This applies above all when the new wind and photovoltaic systems are not only created in the form of conventional "investor models" by large, non-resident companies, but as locally rooted "citizen energy". According to scientific studies conducted by the Institute for Ecological Economic Research (IÖW), the number of jobs generated by local renewable energies and regional value creation could even double in this case.

The complete legal drafting of lawyer Dr. Ing. Roda Verheyen and a new background paper on the effects of a citizen-friendly renewal expansion in lignite mining regions are now available at: www.greenpeace-energy.de/presse.html . Further background material on the renewable energy concept of Greenpeace Energy for the Rheinische Revier can be found at: www.reinrevierwende.de .

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