Press release on 08.08.2022

Climbing protest at the Elbphilharmonie: Clear stand against LNG and exploitation

08.08.2022, Hamburg

With a spectacular climbing action at the Elbphilharmonie, activists from ROBIN WOOD, Ende Gelände Hamburg and Gegenstrom demonstrated today at noon against the expansion of natural gas infrastructure and for climate justice. One day before the start of the System Change camp in Hamburg, the activists unrolled two 13 by 6 meter banners reading “Exit Gas Now!” and “Fight Neocolonial Capitalism” on the facade of the Hamburg landmark.

“Fossil gas is an accelerant of the climate crisis and exacerbates global injustices. Despite this, the German government is planning up to twelve new liquefied natural gas terminals in northern Germany and dissolving control mechanisms while pushing for their rapid construction. Imported natural gas is to be handled at the terminals for another 20 years or so. This is completely going in the wrong direction and undermines the long overdue phase-out of fossil fuels,” says Ronja Heise, ROBIN WOOD energy officer.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is particularly harmful to the environment, climate and people. A significant portion of LNG comes from extremely environmentally damaging fracking. Climate-damaging methane escapes throughout the LNG production chain. In addition, the conversion and transport of liquefied gas is very energy-intensive.

For the local population in the exporting countries, LNG often means displacement, damage to health and the destruction of their culture and livelihoods. In the Coastal Bend region of Texas, for example, the construction of an LNG export terminal threatens sacred places of the Carrizo/Comecrudo indigenous community. They have been resisting the greed for profit and resources of European companies for years.

“Relying on LNG now means exploiting people and the environment in other parts of the world for the energy consumption of the German economy. We stand against this neocolonial pattern and on the side of the people in the global south who have been fighting for climate justice for decades,” says ROBIN WOOD activist Anna Neu.

“As a port and trading city, Hamburg’s wealth is based to a considerable extent on exploitative, global trade relations. Goods arrive here that have been produced under inhumane conditions. The blood coal that is burned in the power plants is handled right here. And this is also where Hamburg’s mayor Peter Tschentscher would like to see a new terminal for LNG. That’s not possible at all,” adds Noah Ling from gegenstrom.

The activists call for a consistent focus on energy savings and the expansion of renewable energies. The aim is to create a socially just energy system for all people – and not to put the interests of the companies first. “Replacing Russian natural gas with LNG from Qatar or the U.S. plays into the pockets of large consumers, such as the plastics and fertilizer industries. They are thought to be able to continue their business model undisturbed. But in view of the climate crisis and global injustice, we must radically examine what we can spend how much energy on. And we must finally stop living at the expense of others and the future!”, says Charly Dietz, spokeswoman of Ende Gelände.

While the construction of an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven has already started, the anti-LNG movement is growing. Starting tomorrow, thousands of climate activists are expected at the System Change camp in Hamburg-Altona’s Volkspark. For next Wednesday, a broad alliance invites to a LNG stop demonstration at the Landungsbrücken. For the end of this week, the climate justice alliance Ende Gelände has called for days of action against fossil infrastructure in the greater Hamburg area.

For queries:

ROBIN WOOD energy officer Ronja Heise, +49 16092910288,
Ende Gelände press spokespersons, Charly Dietz, +49 163 681 177 6 and Luka Scott, +49 177 970 575 7