Press Release 27 Oct 2018

6,500 activists block mining operations in the Rhineland coalfield ++ Largest action of civil disobedience of the German climate movement



Since 1.30 pm, 4,000 people are occupying the tracks that supply RWE’s power plants with coal from the open-cast mine Hambach. A group of 40 people has been occupying a digger in the Hambach mine since the early morning. A few hundred people tried to enter the open-cast coal mine Inden but they were stopped by the police. Altogether, about 6,500 activists followed Ende Gelände’s call to block lignite mining operations in the Rhineland near Cologne. Their action expresses the urgency of an immediate coal-phase out.

In the last days, climate activists from all over Europe have been gathering in a camp near Düren. Thousand people arrived in a special train from Prague and Berlin.

„This is the largest action of civil disobedience for climate justice that Germany has ever seen“, says Karolina Drzewo, press spokesperson of Ende Gelände.

In the Rhineland coalfield near Cologne, the utility RWE operates three open-cast lignite mines and four coal-fired power plants. Germany is the world’s largest producer of lignite, an especially polluting type of coal. The government tasked a commission to come up with a road-map to a socially-viable coal-phase out. Their negotiations have been accompanied by strong protests to protect the Hambach forest, an old-growth forest scheduled to be cleared for the expansion of the lignite mine.

„The special report of the IPCC has just warned us to take immediate climate action and phase out fossil fuels. However, the eternal negotiations of the coal committee does not reflect this urgency. The government fails to use this last chance to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. That’s why we take coal phase-out into our own hands.“

Karolina Drzewo: 0049 152 04560800
Selma Richter: 0049 157 87414171