The Swedish government has approved Vattenfall’s sale of coal power plants and mining assets in Germany to CLippendorf coal-fired power plantzech group EPH.

The sale has come in for some criticism by environmental groups who say the plants should be decommissioned instead of sold, in line with the goals of the Paris climate change treaty in 2015.

“I have informed the company that we back the deal that the Vattenfall board has decided on,” Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg told reporters.

The EUR1.9bn deal by a consortium comprising Czech energy company EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments includes coal-fired power plants and mines in the eastern German states of Brandenburg and Saxony, as well as clean-up and remediation costs.