Sweden – Vattenfall wants to sell-off brown coal operations

State-owned energy company Vattenfall wants to sell-off its brown (lignite) coal operations in Germany to meet climate change goals, its chairman told a parliamentary constitution committee on Thursday.

“Vattenfall’s climate targets to cut emissions by 65 million tonnes is not likely to be reached without disposals,” Lars G Nordström said during a parliamentary constitutional committee hearing.

“Brown coal is a burden for Vattenfall. It would be good if everyone was agreed on selling it,” said Lars G Nordström.

He admitted that selling-off the three large power plants and five open-cut mines in Germany would help meet Vattenfall’s emissions targets by 2020 but would do nothing to reduce pollution.

The Vattenfall chairman said that public opinion on lignite and future taxes in Germany would make it indefensible to expand the business there.

Greenpeace in Sweden, recently called on the Swedish Red/Green coaltion government to not allow Vattenfall to shift its emissions responsibilties elsewhere, by selling off its plants and mines.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian province of Quebec announces plan for northern development, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Does Nordea’s divesting of coal shares signal shift in Nordic market?, Yle News

Norway: Production uncertain beyond Q2 at iron-ore mine in Arctic Norway, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Bids given for Pajala mine in Arctic Sweden, Barents Observer

United States:  Alaska – Judge temporarily halts EPA process on Pebble Mine, Alaska Dispatch

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