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Climate: Coal region without CO2: EU Commissioner supports Lausitz

Climate: Coal region without CO2: EU Commissioner supports Lausitz

How do you produce without greenhouse gases? The coalfield in Lusatia wants to show how it works – as a European model region.

Lausitz is receiving support from the EU Commission for its transformation into a model region for an economy without greenhouse gases. During a visit, Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton praised the region’s bid to become the first “net zero valley” in Europe and said: “The EU Commission is ready to support this project.”

A municipal alliance in Lusatia applied for model region status in March. The basis is the so-called net-zero industrial law at the European level. It’s about the rapid introduction of industries and energy production without additional greenhouse gases – i.e. “net zero”. The Lausitz coal region wants to show how it can be done.

Breton and Kellner stand behind “Net Zero Valley”

Specifically, the role as a “net zero valley” means, in Breton’s words: “More funding for projects, more investments, simpler approval procedures, expansion of infrastructure, establishment of local competence centers and more high-quality jobs.”

What is needed is political will and determination. “We are sure that this goal can soon become a reality,” said Breton. The Federal Ministry of Economics is also fully behind the project, said State Secretary Michael Kellner (Greens).

“The first steps are often the hardest, but also the biggest,” explained Christine Herntier, mayor of Spremberg and representative of the Lausitzrunde. “Net Zero Valleys are a very good instrument to show what is necessary to achieve the goal and, above all, to set the right accents.”

Herntier said that Lusatia is driven by structural change and is therefore ideal for such a model region. “Joining forces gives us another strong push towards a Lusatia that has a future. It couldn’t stay the way it was. It has to be something new that sets us apart and makes us interesting, even in international comparison .”

Source: Stern

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