German chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party has offered to cut coal-fired power capacity by 7 GW in a bid to win Green Party agreement to form a coalition government.

Merkel’s offer is short of the 10 GW demanded by the smaller party but above an earlier offer of 5 GW.
Angela Merkel
It is one of the sticking points in negotiations to form the so-called Jamaica Coalition between the two and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

Merkel told reporters on Thursday that serious differences remained and the talks could take many hours.

Failure to clinch a deal could lead to new elections – a scenario none of the negotiating parties wants.

The German leader acknowledged that Germany’s practice of burning coal to generate electricity is one reason it’s not on track to cut its carbon emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

“Now, at the end of 2017, we know that we’re still missing a big chunk,” Merkel said.

Germany generates about 40 percent of its electricity from coal, including the light brown variety called lignite that’s considered to be among the most heavily polluting fossil fuels.

“Coal, especially lignite, must contribute a significant part to achieving these goals,” Merkel said. “But what exactly that will be is something we will discuss very precisely in the coming days.”