This chapter reconstructs the main actors, objectives and the pertinent contextual factors that co-determined the German coal phase-out. The German decision to phase out coal no later than 2038 was prepared by intense negotiations under the German “coal commission”. It was tasked with finding an end date for coal-fired electricity generation and proposing ways and means to support coal workers and the affected regions. This latter objective was the dominant one, supported by a coalition of trade unions, industry, state-level governments as well as major political parties fearing a surge of far-right populism. Meanwhile, meeting the German climate targets was a key condition in the mandate of the coal commission. Yet, the German targets date back to 2010 and are not aligned with the more ambitious objectives enshrined in the Paris Agreement. This explains why the German coal phase-out schedule is so late and so expensive.