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The Editors

Germany Is Burning Too Much Coal

Its reputation as a leader on climate change is not entirely deserved.
Lignite from pit to smokestack.

Lignite from pit to smokestack.

Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Germany is widely seen as a world leader in the fight against climate change. Thanks to its investments in renewable power, wind and solar energy provide a third of its electricity, more than double the U.S. share. Germany's goal to lower carbon-dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2020 is significantly more ambitious than that of Europe as a whole or the U.S.  

After the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed even greater determination. "We can't wait for the last man on Earth to be convinced by the scientific evidence for climate change," she explained.