Legal Complaint Filed Against Germany Over New Coal Plant
The complaint concerns the apparent faulty approval procedure for a new coal-fired power plant at Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg), which was given the go-ahead on 27 July last year.
Under the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive, as now amended, Member States are required to ensure that companies planning to build new large power plants, assess certain conditions for the capture, transport and storage of the carbon dioxide they create, prior to approving any new project.
On the basis of all available evidence and after conducting reasonable inquiries, WWF believes that this requirement has not been fulfilled for the new Mannheim facility which is currently under construction. Consequently, WWF's complaint asks the European Commission to investigate further with a view to starting infringement proceedings.
"While the current law is too weak, it must still be fully applied," said Mark Johnston, WWF's coordinator for power plant CO2 standards.
"This case will be important not just for this project but for the dozens of other new unabated coal-fired power plants still being planned across Europe. The increasing scale and urgency of the climate crisis means that there is no time to waste in cutting our emissions. Without a clear requirement to prepare for and then use carbon capture and storage, new unabated coal-fired power plants are totally unacceptable."
Baden-Württemberg is the German region where European Energy Commissioner-designate Günther Oettinger currently serves as Minister President. The decision to go ahead with the new facility, the so-called Block-9, was strongly supported at the highest levels of the regional government. The Block-9 project, which is owned mostly by RWE and ENBW, two of the big four power utilities in Germany, is one of 25 new coal-fired power plants being either built or planned in the country.
WWF is campaigning for existing EU rules to be tightened by introducing CO2 performance standards on all new fossil power plants, and for the EU to adopt rules similar to those passed by the US House of Representatives last year. The remaining legislative stages of the new EU Industrial Emissions Directive are due to completed later this year.
For further information:
Mark Johnston, Coordinator Power Plant CO2 Standards
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 761 04 20
Mob: +32 499 539 732
Stephanie Rhomberg, Communications and Press Officer Climate & Energy
WWF European Policy Office Tel: +32 2 743 88 06
Mob: +32 495 273 319