Coal vs. Climate: Lützerath must stay!

Coal vs. Climate: Lützerath must stay!

Jan 13, 2023, 2:35:42 PM UTC
Volt demands the immediate stop to the plans to excavate more brown coal in the North-Rhine Westphalia region.
Brown coal excavator / Image credit: Kamil Porembińsky on Flickr

> Volt demands the immediate stop to the plans to excavate more brown coal in the North-Rhine Westphalia region
> Carina Beckmann, Vice Chair Volt Germany: “Dredging Lützerath is a clear, wrong decision of the NRW state government, which contradicts experts and sends a fatal signal against climate protection!”

Berlin, January 10, 2023 — Human rights before mining law — stop disregarding climate targets! In the Garzweiler II mining area in North Rhine-Westphalia, the village of Lützerath is to be cleared in order to mine the underlying lignite. Volt is campaigning against the expansion of the opencast lignite mine: Lützerath must not give way for the coal underneath!

Carina Beckmann, deputy chairwoman of Volt Germany criticizes the decision of the NRW state government: “With the clearance of Lützerath and the expansion of coal mining, the government of CDU and Greens in NRW has decided in favor of RWE’s coal and thus quite clearly against global climate protection. We are in the middle of the climate crisis and can no longer afford these wrong decisions!”

The black-green state government justifies further mining in the Garzweiler II open pit mine with the loss of energy supply from Russian gas in order to further secure the energy supply in NRW. As compensation, the coal phase-out is to be brought forward to 2030. According to a study by Aurora Energy Research, however, there is no ecological advantage from the earlier coal phase-out because CO2 emissions will thus increase massively by 2030 — even more coal than previously planned could be converted into electricity. The DIW explains that the coal under the threatened village is not necessarily needed to avert energy shortages in NRW. In addition, compliance with the emissions limit by 2030 is jeopardized and thus also the 1.5° limit of the climate protection targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also calls for an immediate halt to coal-fired power generation, so the state government is also contradicting this assessment.

Friedrich Jeschke, chairman of the parliamentary group Die Linke/Volt advocates climate protection within the framework of regional plan development in the Cologne Regional Council and makes it clear: “The situation in Lützerath is symbolic, but unambiguous: the additional mining of lignite endangers the 1.5-degree limit. The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and also the federal government have a duty to prevent the further use of climate-damaging coal. Lützerath shows whether Germany is committed to climate targets and respects the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court.”

Volt calls for the following actions:

  • Immediate stop of the eviction and withdrawal of the emergency forces. Studies and experts doubt the basis of the arguments and thus the legality and proportionality of the decision at this point. The decisions must therefore be re-examined due to the changed factual basis.
  • Prioritization of climate targets. Climate targets must not be subordinated to private-sector interests in order for Germany to meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • A lobby register and reform of the Freedom of Information Act to disclose and limit disproportionate and non-transparent influence of business on politics.

Through these measures, both the protesters and society as a whole can be made to understand that climate goals have the priority they need in NRW.

For interview requests as well as further information, please contact:

Gina Nießer
Press team Volt Germany
Phone: +49 1782322494