German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday that weakening a plan to penalise ageing coal power plants for their CO2 emissions was just one of several options being considered to break a government deadlock on the issue, Reuters reported.
On Monday, Reuters cited a government document describing an idea to scale back the plan to emission reductions of 16 million tonnes over 2017-2020, down from 22 million, while making up the shortfall with more combined heat and power plants.
But on Tuesday Gabriel said that was “just one of a whole range of deliberations on how to vary the climate levy”, Reuters reported, adding that even the weakened proposal wasn’t enough to win over RWE, Germany’s biggest coal-fired power producer.
Two senior members of the centre-right CDU, the senior coalition partner to Gabriel’s Socialists in government, also remained opposed to the entire instrument, Montel reported.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet Gabriel, and the CDU’s Rainer Baake and Peter Altmaier to discuss the measure on Wednesday evening, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeiner newspaper.