Press Release April 26, 2018
Energy company RWE is blocking energy transition +++ Ende Gelände demands climate justice +++ call for mass action of civil disobedience to protect Hambach forest
Essen, 26.04.2018. Ende Gelände demands the immediate stop of lignite mining so that the Hambach forest can survive. The German energy company RWE, which holds its Annual General Meeting today in Essen, has declared that it wants to continue to burn lignite despite the fact that this will destroy the ancient Hambach forest and the livelihoods of people in the Rhineland and around the world. Ende Gelände, on the other hand, envisions a democratic energy transition from below. For October 26 to 28, the mass movement for climate justice calls out to activists from all over Europe to come to the Rhineland to block RWE’s lignite mining infrastructure, protect the forest and make a stand for climate justice.
“To create climate justice, we have to curb RWE’s profit-driven destruction. The Hambach forest needs to become public good, like it once was: The people of the Rhineland should be able to make decisions about the forest themselves. And also the energy supply needs to be governed by the people”, says Karolina Drzewo, spokesperson of Ende Gelände.
Local communities used to take care of the 12.000 year old Hambach Forest, which is located in the west of Germany, close to Cologne. But RWE bought the forest and destroyed large parts of it for the lignite mining industry.
“The German government lies to the world, pretending to be at the forefront of Energiewende when in reality we are lignite-mining champion. We as Ende Gelände stand for energy supply that is 100% renewable, decentralised and affordable for everyone. That means people generate their own electricity and we manage the grid collectively. Energy giants like RWE will always put profit before people”, says Karolina Drzewo.
The lignite-mining area in the Rheineland is the biggest source of CO2 in Europe and a driving force of global warming. People are loosing their homes because RWE destroys whole villages and old churches to dig for lignite. Last winter, the deforestation of the Hambach forest could be prevented due to immense local opposition, an international mass action and trials. But RWE plans to take down the final part of the forest to continue its lignite-mining industry until at least 2050 and has announced to start cutting trees on 1st of October. A broad alliance of residents, forest-inhabitants and large parts of the society stand up in resistance to RWE to protect the forest. Ende Gelände as part of the global movement for climate justice demands the immediate stop of coal mining.
Karolina Drzewo: 0152 04560800