PRESS RELEASE, 11 MAY 2019
Thousands expected for climate protests in Rhineland coalfield + Massive disobedience to confront failed German climate policy + Public action training and press briefing on 20 June 2019
Berlin, 11th June 2019
From 20th to 23rd of June, thousands of activists from all over Europe will block coal infrastructure in the Rhineland coalfield near Cologne. They demand an immediate coal-phase out, climate justice and a fundamental system change. This is the sixth time the action alliance Ende Gelände is calling for massive civil disobedience to protest the failure of German climate policy.
“We are in the midst of a climate crisis. But the government does not act. Therefore, we need to take radical action. With thousands of people we will put our bodies in line to stop coal trains and giant excavators. Together we will stop mining operations, to end the age of fossil fuels and save our future.“, says Nike Mahlhaus, spokesperson of Ende Gelände.
Germany is the world‘s biggest producer of brown coal, an especially polluting type of coal. In the Rhineland coalfield near Cologne, the utility RWE operates three huge open-cast coal mines and three power plants, which are amongst the dirtiest in Europe. Despite the expansion of renewable energies, there was no significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the last ten years; and Germany will fail to reach its climate target to cut emission by 20 % in 2020 (compared to 1990). In January, a coal commission recommended a coal-phase out in 2038, which experts say is incompatible with keeping global warming below 1,5 degrees.
You are more than welcome to report about the protests of Ende Gelände before and during the action. We will be available for interviews. There also is the possibility to accompany activists into the action or to write and film portraits about activists.
On Wednesday, 19th of June, there will be a press conference together with the alliance „All Villages Remain“, Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, and a representative of the Global South.
On Thursday, 20 June 2019, at 11.30 a.m., we invite you to a public action training during which you are welcome to film and take pictures. Following this, at 12.15 pm, a press briefing will take place, to which we invite in particular those journalists who would like to accompany activists. We will inform you short notice about the exact meeting points for all these three events.
On the same weekend, other alliances stand with Ende Gelände to demand a rapid coal-phase out. On Friday, June 21, thousands of young people are expected in Aachen for a European climate strike organized by Fridays for Future. More information in German: https://ac2106.fridaysforfuture.de/
On Saturday, June 22, the local initiative „All Villages Remain“, environmental organizations and Fridays for Future call for a demonstration close to the Garzweiler mine. More information in German: https://www.alle-doerfer-bleiben.de/aktionstag/
In the past year, a broad anti-coal movement has achieved a clearing stop for the Hambach Forest which is threatened by the mining operations. Ende Gelände was part of these protests with a 24-hour blockade at the Hambach opencast mine.
Photos of the action can be found on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/133937251@N05/albums
Nike Mahlhaus: +49 157 874 141 71
Kathrin Henneberger: +49 152 045 608 00
Sina Reisch: +49 177 967 68 05