Stop Coal. Protect the Climate!

Five reasons to come to „Ende Gelände“ in the Rhineland in August

We’ll create a climate of justice!

We have issued an ultimatum to RWE

At the Annual General Meeting of RWE we issued an ultimatum to the shareholders of the lignite conglomerate RWE: Either they immediately start phasing out coal or we’ll do it for them from 24 to 29 August. The company has so far not responded. That means only one thing for us: phasing out coal remains a hands-on job! „Ende Gelände“ will blockade the supply to a coal-fired power station with thousands of people and will make sure that the lignite cannot be burnt.

1. We want to create a climate of justice in the Rhineland and all over the world!

We are in the middle of climate change; daily we are getting news of droughts, hunger, sinking island states, devastating storms and the extinction of species. The consequences hit the countries of the global south hardest, which have contributed least to global warming. In order to prevent even worse impacts of climate change it is urgent to restrict global warming to 1,5 degrees. The industrialised countries which have caused climate bear a historical responsibility.

The Rhineland coal fields are a symbol for injustice: globally – the three open-cast mines and the four gigantic power stations are Europe’s biggest source of CO2, but also locally: Still whole villages and developed communites are destroyed, thousands of people are rehoused or fall ill because of air pollution.
It is a question of justice that Germany phases out lignite. We will start with this exit exactly here in the Rhineland!

2. Climate backlash – locally, nationally and globally

In the US, the president denies climate change and idolises the coal industry. That means also a free ride for oil pipelines that have been stopped in the last few years by social movements. In Germany there is a lot of fine and noble rhetoric regarding the protection of the climate. Yet the reality is, that not one party has a convincing road map in its program for phasing out fossile energies. The big parties ignore the elephant in the room and pretend that climate protection can work without phasing out coal. Parts of the CDU even question climate change and consider it „moral blackmail“. In Northrhine-Westfalia, home of the biggest lignite mines, the new conservative-liberal coalition intends to scrap the already watered-down climate protection plan of the previous government, cap the expansion of renewable energy and continue mining without any end date. The responsible politicians jeopardise the future of the planet for economic benefits. We are not longer waiting for governments; we’ll enforce climate protection from below!

3. The climate is negotiated in the Rhineland

In November the international climate negotiations chaired by the Fidji islands, which are threated by sinking into the sea, will be held in Bonn – a few kilometres away from the deepest coal hole in Europe. In August we’ll point to this sore spot and will demonstrate that climate change is produced and negotiated right here.
We demand the immediate phase-out of all fossile energies. We’ll start in August.

4. Draw red lines together – be part of a growing movement!

All over Europe, resistance groups are putting their bodies in line to stop fossile infrastructure. In Vienna activists drew a red line against the extension of the airport. In Amsterdam „Code Rood“ have proclaimed alert level red for the climate and blocked the coal harbour with 300 people for one day. At almost the same time the open cast lignite mines in Czechia were occupied.

From 24 to 29 August the international climate movement will come together in the Rhineland to stand up against lignite and fossile capitalism with many diverse actions.
Not only „Ende Gelände“ will be present during the action days. Local initiatives and environmental organisations will protect the Forest of Hambach with a symbolic red line. „Kohle erSETZEN“ (replace coal) will call for sit-ins: independent small groups will act under the motto „sugar in the tank“ against coal. Three different climate camps will provide a basis to meet old and new friends, pass on skills to development movements and to learn. Let us gather in August in the Rhineland in order to get inspiration from each other and return strengthened to our local struggles – as a part of a growing international movement!

5. Solutions beyond capitalism

Higher, faster, further, better – the economic systems driven by growth and competition need more and more energy. Our finite planet cannot support infinite growth. In the Rhineland we’ll take an active stance against the capitalistic logic which regards the planet and human beings only as resources to be exploited.
We meet this logic in the form of the fossile industry but also in the form of supposed market-based measures for climate protection. Each complicated technical solution – e.g. to capture CO2 out of the atmosphere – seems simpler than changing the current economic model. Limiting global warming to 1,5 degrees requires a fast and drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emission and is therefore incompatible with economic growth, even so-called „green growth“.
We are convinced that we can find new ways for organizing economy. Climate Justice will only be possible if industrial states stop enriching themselves by exploiting nature and human beings.

System Change not Climate Change!