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Swedish government under pressure to end Vattenfall’s ‘dirty’ coal deal

Vattenfall’s ‘dirty’ coal deal

Creative Commons: Bert Kaufmann, 2009

The Swedish government is in the spotlight today with calls for it to stop state-owned Vattenfall’s “dirty deal” to sell its German lignite – or brown coal – assets.

Czech energy company EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments, agreed to buy Vattenfall’s loss-making lignite coal mines and associated power plants.

Vattenfall is expected to incur up to €2.9 billion in losses from the sale.

A previously strong supporter of the clean energy transition, campaigners are urging the Swedish government to block the sale, saying that “getting the dirtiest of fossil fuel off Vattenfall’s books is not going to clean Sweden’s hands”.

Instead, they urge the government to hold onto and close down its mines. Next month, thousands of people will be putting their bodies on the line for this aim, as they attempt to bring Vattenfall’s coal operations in the Lusatia region of Germany to a halt.

Key Points

  • Swedish, and European citizens are the ones paying the price for dirty coal. Last year alone, Swedish taxpayers, had to bear over €1.6 billion in losses associated with Vattenfall’s German lignite business. Meanwhile, citizens across Europe continue to pay the price for coal, including billions in clean-up and health costs. Companies continuing to bet on coal – such as the Czech company buying Vattenfall’s assets – are gambling not only their future, but that of European citizens.

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