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Press release from 06.04.2024

Gelsenkirchen in Germany, 06.04.2024

Climate activists from Ende Gelände have been blockading the Scholven coal-fired power plant in Gelsenkirchen since around 6 a.m. this morning. A group of almost 30 people are on the power plant site. They are blocking the access road with a tripod and thus obstructing operations. Around 70 other activists are on the tracks in front of the power plant so that no more coal can be delivered. The tracks were painted blood red. In addition, a large banner was lowered from a bridge during a climbing action and attached there. The tracks are also blocked here. Ende Gelände is fighting for an immediate coal phase-out.

Jule Fink, spokesperson for Ende Gelände, comments:

“For decades, German coal companies have been making fat profits by destroying our living conditions. The Scholven power plant in Gelsenkirchen produces around 20,000 tons of CO2 every day. The operator Uniper is thus making a significant contribution to heating up the planet to such an extreme that entire regions are devastated by floods, droughts or fires and become uninhabitable. Hundreds of thousands of people are already dying or having to leave their homes as a result of the climate crisis. We are stopping CO2 emissions from the dirty Scholven coal-fired power plant today and taking the coal phase-out into our own hands.”

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government declared an energy crisis, brought a number of coal-fired power plants that had already been shut down back on the grid and extended their operating times. This also concerns the Scholven power plant in Gelsenkirchen, which will remain in operation until further notice. Despite the decision to phase out coal, 73 hard coal-fired power plants will continue to operate, some of them until 2038. As a result, significantly more hard coal is being imported from Colombia to Germany today, which will initially land by ship in Rotterdam. Yesterday, activists blocked the coal terminal of the Dutch world port and a train loaded with coal bound for Germany. For many years, there has been loud criticism of opencast coal mining in Colombia, which is particularly harmful to the environment and is associated with massive human rights violations. Hard coal is therefore often referred to as “blood coal” in Columbia.

María Fernanda Becerra Muñoz from Mujeres Guerreras, an Afro-Colombian community affected by coal mining in Colombia, comments:

“For decades we have been fighting against the multinational companies that come with the promise of development and leave us only inequality, injustice, displacement and environmental destruction. It is coal that is smeared with blood, that comes with irreparable damage to ecosystems and has destroyed the social structures of so many communities. As a people of Black peasant farmers, grandchildren of enslaved men and women, we will continue to resist in defense of our territory.”

Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples such as the Wajúu and the Yupka nation are suffering the most from the consequences of coal mining. More than 60,000 people have already been displaced for coal mining in Colombia and around 2,600 people have been murdered. It has now been proven that the US company Drummond, which operates in Colombia, paid paramilitaries to murder leading trade unionists.

Ende Gelände has become known for its mass civil disobedience actions around the German lignite mining areas, which usually involve several thousand people. In addition to coal, gas infrastructure has recently been the main target of blockades. This year, the alliance is focusing on smaller regional actions. With the coordinated protests in Germany and the Netherlands, the European supply chain of Colombian coal will be the target of actions for the first time. Ende Gelände wants to achieve the phase-out of all fossil fuels and the socialization of energy companies.

Contact details

E-mail: presse@ende-gelaende.org

Jule Fink: +49 163 681 177 6

Website www.ende-gelaende.org

Twitter https://twitter.com/Ende__Gelaende

You can find photos of current and past actions on the Ende Gelände flickr account. If you are interested in using them, please contact the photographers linked there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/133937251@N05/albums