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  • October 4, 2022
  • EEB

EEB | Making the Polluter Pay for Environmental Damages in Central and East Germany

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Germany’s plan to offer a generous 4,35 billion euro compensation package for closing lignite mines and power plants is a hot topic even in the EU. 1,75 billion euro of this package goes to the Lusatian mining company LEAG and a large part of it is assigned for environmental remediation.

As this case illustrates, taxpayers risk to bear the cost for environmental remediation after they have already paid a high price for the pollution caused by LEAG in the region, where water sources have been polluted and depleted.

Germany’s proposal is currently discussed at the EU level where the review of the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) is also on the agenda. The ELD is very much linked to the issue of polluters’ liability and the failure of authorities to include the ‘polluters pay principle’ in the environmental remediation plans once corporations responsible for massive pollution, such as LEAG, close shop.


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