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Press Release November 5th, 2017, 11:11 a.m.
At about 9 a.m. in Buir near Cologne, around 4.500 people set out to take climate justice into their own hands. The registered demonstration is heading towards Morschenich, a village to be demolished to make way for the open-cast coal mine Hambach. Masses of Ende Gelände activists set out to block Hambach’s open pit infrastructure to put their call for an immediate coal phase-out into practice. In solidarity, they are supported by a number of national and international climate activists, including the Pacific Climate Warriors, a group of activists from various Pacific island states. In the early morning, they already held a traditional ceremony in Manheim, another doomed village.
The Pacific Climate Warriors are fighting against the destruction of their livelihoods because of climate change impacts such as a rising sea level. They demand the end of fossil fuels and the immediate German coal exit. “Germany’s lignite mines are among the biggest coal mines in the world. If we don’t shut them down, we have no chance as Pacific Islanders. We’re here to protect our land, our culture and our identities as Pacific people,” said Zane Sikulu, Climate Warrior from Tonga.
One day before the start of the 23rd World Climate Conference (COP23), Ende Gelände is leading the way for climate justice and for an immediate withdrawal from fossil fuels with a mass action of civil disobedience. “At the UN climate summit the fossil lobby sits at the negotiating table. By contrast, the voices of those who are already suffering massively from the consequences of climate change have too little weight. We have to push for real solutions ourselves. This it what we aim for today, when we are going to block coal infrastructure in the Rhenish coal field”, said Dorothee Häussermann, spokesperson of Ende Gelände.
“On the international stage, politicians and corporations present themselves as climate saviors, while a few miles away, the climate is literally being burned. We do not want to be world champions in extracting and burning lignite anymore. We want to fulfill our historic responsibility. That’s why we go to the coal mines, to protect the climate there”, says Janna Aljets, spokesperson of Ende Gelände.
The Rhineland coal fields, have become a hot spot of the climate movement in the last years. The mining operations include three open-cast lignite mines and four power plants that belong to Europe’s most polluting. Together they emit 80 million tons of CO₂ per year. Thus far, the utility giant RWE and the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia want to continue lignite mining until 2045. Lignite is one of the most polluting fossil fuels.
Contact and more Information
Soon you will find a selection of pictures in our flickr-files. In the files „freie Lizenz“ you will find pictures that are free for both commercial and non-commercial purposes (about 10 per action day). In the files “kostenpflichtige Lizenz” you will find pictures that are not free to use and require permission from the photographer. An overview of all pictures, you will find: https://www.flickr.com/photos/133937251@N05/albums
Pacific Climate Warriors:
Climate Justice Demonstration:
Judith Zimmermann: 0049-152-16798212