The British Embassy Berlin and Climate Transparency organised the Brown to Green Forum: Managing the phase out of coal – perspectives from Germany, the UK and other G20 countries, which took place on 21 May 2019 at the British Embassy Berlin.

In January 2019, Germany’s Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment reached a compromise to close all coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest. This is an important signal to the international community. Four months on, the Brown to Green Forum discussed Germany’s coal phase out plans and presented Climate Transparency’s G20 coal brief and ODI’s forthcoming report ‘Ending G20 subsidies to coal production and consumption’.
A stakeholder discussion shed light on the economic, legal, climate-related and social aspects of coal phase out with lessons learned from other G20 countries. The Forum answered, among other, following questions: what are the economic implications of a market-driven or state-driven coal phase out? What are the opportunities for social and economic innovation in former coal regions? How can G20 countries work together to share experience of coal phase out? How can the Powering Past Coal Alliance support those dedicated to a coal phase out?


8.30 Arrival and coffee

9.00 Welcome

  • Sebastian Wood, Ambassador, British Embassy Berlin
  • Peter Eigen, Co-chair, Climate Transparency

9.15 Keynote

  • Rita Schutt, Deputy DG General issues of specific sectors of the economy;
    sustainability, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany

9.30 The global challenge of phasing out coal – a stocktake across the G20

  • Hannah Schindler, Project Coordinator, Secretariat Climate Transparency
  • Leo Roberts, Senior Research Officer, Overseas Development Institute

9.45 Panel 1: Financing and implementing an end to coal

  • André Poschmann, Head of EU electricity issues, national and European electricity market integration, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany
  • Beth Child, Deputy Director, International Climate Strategy, British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director, Institute of Essential Service Reform, Indonesia
  • Markus Hagel, Politik & Corporate Responsibility, RWE AG

11.00 Coffee break

11.30 Panel 2: Climate change meets social justice and innovation

  • Amb. Stephane Dion, Canada’s Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Minister of the Environment of Canada
  • Christine Herntier, Mayor of Spremberg, Member of Germany’s Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment
  • Jesse Burton, Researcher, Energy Research Centre of the University of Cape Town and E3G, South Africa
  • Thomas Spencer, Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute, India

12.45 Closing remarks

13.00 Lunch

Photos: Milena Kula, HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform