Berlin (dpa) - Germany should be wary about rushing to give up on coal as a power source, warns the head of the Federation of German Industry (BDI).
The BDI's worries are based on German plans, themselves based upon the recent international climate agreement struck in Paris, that call for Germany to give up its reliance on coal by 2050.
"We have to be careful that we don't go from being pioneers to being the odd man out," BDI president Ulrich Grillo told dpa. "Germany can't save the global climate by itself."
Despite Germany's push to renewable energy sources, it remains reliant on dirtier fuel like coal to keep the lights on when solar and wind power do not provide enough energy. That reliance means Germany must consider coal if it wants to be sure of its energy supplies, says Grillo.
"No one's interests are served if we pull the plug on the German industrial base."
The Paris deal is expected to come before Germany's cabinet in mid-2016, after talks with industry and union representatives about finding a way to give up coal without damaging German industry.
The plan also calls for giving up oil and gas as power sources in Germany by 2050.