Germany’s Green Party has agreed to compromise its initial position on coal-fired power and fossil-powered cars in a bid to help form the country’s government with two other parties.

The Greens have been in intense negotiation with the pro-business liberal Free Democratic party (FDP) and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU for weeks, and the party has now conceded that an accelerated phase-out of coal power and an enforced ban on internal combustion engines are not possible.
Reichstag
There may be difficulty in getting a mandate from the party rank and file, when it assembles in two weeks, but for now the Jamaica Coalition, as it has been dubbed due to the partys’ respective green, black and red colours, looks set to deliver a government.

“It is clear to me that we will not be able to enforce a ban on internal combustion engines by 2030,” the Greens’ co-leader Cem Özdemir told Stuttgarter Zeitung.

The Greens are also prepared to modify their demand that the 20 most polluting coal-fired power plants in Germany should be shut by 2020.

This will have satisfied the FDP whose leader Christian Lindner expressed a preference to see more development aid pumped into climate protection rather than withdrawal from coal power, suggesting that Germany might suffer energy supply shortfalls if power stations were shut down.

Prior to the news of compromise, the four parties had only managed to agree to honour the Paris climate deal, with the CDU and FDP asserting the country would meet its climate obligations, without the need for additional coal plant closures.

Earlier speculation this week was on the possibility of a higher carbon price being implemented as a means of discouraging coal.

Germany’s former energy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said it was impossible to phase out nuclear and coal at the same time with plans to expand the power grid delayed by local resistance and high upfront investment costs.

Meanwhile, Merkel’s conservatives are keen to avoid rising energy costs for industry and households.