Germany won't force companies to shut coal-fired plants-minister

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday the government would not force companies to shut down coal-fired plants with the aim of reaching ambitious climate goals.

"I won't make a proposal with the aim of decommissioning coal-fired plants," said Gabriel, who is expected to meet top energy industry executives later on Monday.

He was reacting to a Reuters report on a ministry document showing the government was working on a new law to force energy companies to reduce their carbon emissions by at least 22 million tonnes by 2020.

That could mean the firms would need to shut down around eight more coal-fired plants. Among the effected companies would be RWE , E.ON and Vattenfall .

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Stephen Brown)