Read

User menu

Search form

Fifty-Thousand Come Together in Germany to Defend Ancient Forest and Fight Coal

Fifty-Thousand Come Together in Germany to Defend Ancient Forest and Fight Coal
Tue, 10/9/2018 - by Jon Queally
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams

More than 50,000 people from across Europe gathered near the Hambacher Forest in western Germany on Saturday to defend the area from the expansion of coal-fired energy and demand much more ambitious climate action.

According to Greenpeace, one of the organizers behind the demonstration, the enormous crowd made up of local farmers, environmental activists, church groups, local residents and supporters from other countries, including Italy, France and the Netherlands. It was the largest-ever anti-coal demonstration in the Rhineland.

Those attending carried large banners declaring "Farmers against coal" and "We will end coal" as they assembled in a massive field and demanded that the RWE energy group be forbidden from further logging in the nearby Hambacher Forest, the largest of its kind in the region.

"This rally is about demanding that the German government break the deadlock of a climate policy that has failed to reduce carbon emissions for nearly a decade now, but it also is about showing governments everywhere that a growing climate movement is demanding an end to dirty and outdated fossil fuels," said Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany. "The German coal phase-out needs to start here and now and the last coal plant needs to shut down by 2030 if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement."

The mass protest comes in the wake of a legal victory in which a German court forbid RWE from carrying out a clear-cutting operation of the forest.

"The court ruling shows that blatant lies and reckless policies of corporations like RWE are no longer acceptable," said Kaiser. "However, it doesn’t switch off a single coal plant and doesn’t stop any of the other lignite mines. There still are villages, forests and churches in danger of being destroyed and people are no longer willing to accept that – at the Hambach Forest or any other mines anywhere in the world."

While Germany in many ways has lead Europe, and the world, in transitioning to renewable energy, it still operates the largest fleet of coal-fired plants in Europe and the campaigners say that as long as this is true the nation's political leadership will not be left off the hook.

The demonstration also comes ahead of the release of a new series of reports by the UN's IPCC on Monday. According to expectations, the latest declaration from the world's scientific community will again raise the alarm that human-caused global warming continues apace and once more call on the world's government's to increase their efforts to curb emissions and reduce the negative impacts of the fossil fuel industry and other polluting sectors.

As those defending the forest from destruction declared in this video, their fight to save Hambacher is intricately and directly connected to similar struggles and fights across the world.

Originally published by Common Dreams

 

Sign Up

Article Tabs

cooperative economics, worker owned businesses, Nathan Schneider, worker control, shared profit, Commons, cooperativism, sharing economy, Everything for Everyone

The most striking secret of emergent radical economic structures like worker ownership is that they aren’t radical at all, a subject Nathan Schneider's new ranging book explores.

It might sound like common sense that poverty affects our overall health – but did you know that income inequality catalyzes wear and tear on a micro molecular level?

2018 midterms, Deep South elections, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Donald Trump, voter fraud, absentee ballots, Florida recount, Georgia recount

Future elections in the closely watched states of Florida, Georgia and Texas could be within grasp of Democrats as suffrage expands across the region.

border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

Illustration by Grace Alton

For millions of renters in the U.K., a robust set of policies around rental law would be life-changing. But the bill making its way through Parliament has to be done right.

cooperative economics, worker owned businesses, Nathan Schneider, worker control, shared profit, Commons, cooperativism, sharing economy, Everything for Everyone

The most striking secret of emergent radical economic structures like worker ownership is that they aren’t radical at all, a subject Nathan Schneider's new ranging book explores.

fossil fuel subsidies, climate inaction, carbon emissions, runaway climate change, oil subsidies, gas subsidies, G20 nations, carbon-free future, 100% renewables, clean energy, Climate Transparency, UN climate talks

Ongoing coal, oil and gas subsidies risk raising global temperatures to 3.2°C, well beyond the agreed Paris goal.

It might sound like common sense that poverty affects our overall health – but did you know that income inequality catalyzes wear and tear on a micro molecular level?

2018 midterms, Deep South elections, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Donald Trump, voter fraud, absentee ballots, Florida recount, Georgia recount

Future elections in the closely watched states of Florida, Georgia and Texas could be within grasp of Democrats as suffrage expands across the region.

climate financing, green banks, clean energy investments, big banks, Wall Street, fossil fuel industry, funding fossil fuels, fossil fuel subsidies, tar sands, coal industry, renewable energy, climate catastrophe

Despite regularly claiming new commitments to "green finance," the big banks continue to funnel billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry every year.

Public Bank LA, public banking, public finance, city owned banks, Public Banking Institute, cooperative economics, mass movements

What does the disappointing loss on L.A.’s public banking initiative tell us about the future of cooperative economics?

Posted 6 days 17 hours ago
women of color, #Houston19, black women judges, judicial reform

Looking for some great news after Tuesday's midterms? Meet the #Houston19.

Posted 6 days 18 hours ago
climate financing, green banks, clean energy investments, big banks, Wall Street, fossil fuel industry, funding fossil fuels, fossil fuel subsidies, tar sands, coal industry, renewable energy, climate catastrophe

Despite regularly claiming new commitments to "green finance," the big banks continue to funnel billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry every year.

Posted 1 day 23 hours ago
border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

Posted 2 days 21 hours ago
Illustration by Grace Alton

For millions of renters in the U.K., a robust set of policies around rental law would be life-changing. But the bill making its way through Parliament has to be done right.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago
poverty in America, poor Americans, rising poverty, rising inequality

34 million American adults, or 1 in 7, are among the world's poorest 10%. How is that possible? In a word, debt.

Public Bank LA, public banking, public finance, city owned banks, Public Banking Institute, cooperative economics, mass movements

What does the disappointing loss on L.A.’s public banking initiative tell us about the future of cooperative economics?

border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

Illustration by Grace Alton

For millions of renters in the U.K., a robust set of policies around rental law would be life-changing. But the bill making its way through Parliament has to be done right.

climate financing, green banks, clean energy investments, big banks, Wall Street, fossil fuel industry, funding fossil fuels, fossil fuel subsidies, tar sands, coal industry, renewable energy, climate catastrophe

Despite regularly claiming new commitments to "green finance," the big banks continue to funnel billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry every year.