December 7, 2017 / 12:25 PM / a year ago

German SPD leader says brown coal exit must not hurt workers

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz gestures after his speech during an SPD party convention in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said on Thursday that the country must find a way to exit brown coal production without hurting coal-producing regions and causing job losses.

“The truth is, we want to reach the climate goals and that will only work by ending coal-fired power generation,” SPD leader Martin Schulz said.

“But not at the expense of secure supply. And not at the expense of workers. Yes, that will require billions (of euros) in investments in grids and offerings for the regions,” he said.

He was speaking at a congress where the party is debating whether to start talks on joining a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who shed votes to the far-right in September’s election and failed to form an alliance with two smaller parties.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Writing by Maria Sheahan

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