Things that happened before…

During the last weeks, the topic lignite-based power generation and climate change has been a national and international issue. Here in the forest grew the popularity and support for the forest occupation. More and more people are choosing to become more active and move in here. External support is also steadily increasing. People bring food, materials and water, enabling the growing number of activists to be here permanently.
The RWE-group, which emits 223836 tons of CO₂ every day, is severely disturbed by the actions of (small) groups in its work.
Various (blockade) actions resulted in empirical values about their effectiveness.

1. Water Pumps
RWE operates over 2,000 pumps in the Rhenish mining district to reduce the groundwater level. It is known that from the side of the Hambach Forest, RWE has got problems with water ingresses in the open pit. This stems in part from the fact that in the forest itself no pumping stations could be built (is possibly changing at the moment). They characterize the landscapes around the open pit, on fields, in forests, along the roadsides. They are usually recognizable by pipes and power distribution boxes.

2. Access Roads
In order to clear the forest, clearing machines enter the forest by certain access roads during the deforesting weeks. In the last couple of years, they had to be rerouted often, because at the same time people had breakfast on the roads, which was even approved by the police.

3. Mine – Excavators and Conveyor Belts
During the last years several excavators were occupied. In some cases hat took several days, because the police did not have enough climbing units available. It has been shown that a permanent blockade of the open pit is necessary to stop the coal supply to the power plants.

4. Lignite bunker in the mine
From there, the power plants are supplied with coal. The extracted coal from the opencast mine is initially stored in the bunker and then delivered to the power plants via the Hambach Railway. Without the supply by the coal bunker in the open pit, a performance reduction can be achieved within a few hours!

5. Hambach Railway
The Hambach Railway is the largest private railway in Germany. If the coal can be loaded from the coal bunker, this so called Hambachbahn runs every 10 minutes 24/7, 365 days a year to the power plants.
The Hambach Railway is powered from two points, both of which are near the coal bunkers.
The power plants Niederaußen and Frimmersdorf are supplied with coal from two sides (Hambach and Garzweiler)!

During the last years there have been different types of actions.
Overview:

  • Tripod on the tracks
  • Lock-Ons
  • Sit ins
  • Hambach Railway Party
  • and more…

By means of a 24-hour blockade in phases, a throttling of the power plant was achieved, which was even reflected in the balance sheet of the Group.

6. Lignite bunker in the power plant
As was shown some days ago, such a blockade is very effective (Weisweiler – throttling around 92 percent!)

7. Power supply
The RWE structures mentioned in points 1-6 are all powered by electricity.

8. Access roads that are relevant in case of evictions
The Hambach Railway was moved to the south to make room for the opencast mine. Since then, the number of access roads to the forest has decreased. With vehicles in large numbers it is easily accessible only a few points.
Note: The other mines and power plants in the entire Rhenish lignite mining area work in a very similar way …
Note 2: Not listed separately is the RWE headquarters in Essen and all other office buildings all over Germany, which ensure the constant profit maximization of the group …

Pre-alarm: RWE prepares for action

From some observations in the last 24 hours, we conclude that RWE is preparing for a major police operation. Opinions differ as to whether they plan to create facts before the verdict is pronounced, but it is certain that they want to be ready to start swiftly after the verdict is pronounced. We expect Monday, but Saturday would be possible too. In the past every day including Sunday was cleared, so a start on Saturday would be imaginable.

Get ready to join us. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know.
And come on Friday at 10 clock to the Verwaltungsgericht (Administrative Court) in Cologne (Appellhofplatz) to accompany the verdict!
Open Street Map

Court Proposes Settlement

Live ticker in German

For the entire text (in German) quoted below, go to wdr.de

Open cast mine Hambach: in-court settlement failed

Settlement on the open cast mine Hambach failed
RWE rejects proposal
Court decision until Friday

In the trial about the lignite mine Hambach on Tuesday (Nov. 21th,2017) a settlement failed. The Verwaltungsgericht (Administrative Court) of Cologne had proposed to continue the open pit without felling the forest. The judges expected a coal exit in the foreseeable future.

RWE and a representative of the Land North Rhine-Westphalia stated that this would not be feasible. The BUND as plaintiff, however, supported the settlement. Another proposal by the court, to postpone the extraction limits of the opencast mine and to save the forest from digging, was rejected. By contrast, the BUND (Federation of Environment and Nature Conservation Germany) as a plaintiff could imagine a settlement in which the old Hambach Forest would be left out. Until Friday (24.11.2017) there will now be a judgment.

Protests outside the courthouse

On Tuesday morning, about 100 opponents and supporters of the opencast mine demonstrated before the start of the trial in front of the Cologne administrative court. Several environmental groups had announced protests for the preservation of the Hambach forest.

Between 2020 and 2030 almost all trees are to be cut, in order to advance the open-pit mine as planned shortly before the village of Buir. “Then we’ll look directly into a 440 meter deep hole, where almost the entire city of Cologne fits in and that is so unimaginable crazy, well that’s just terrible,” a 50-year-old man says. With his citizens’ group “Buirers for Buir”, Andreas Büttgen supports two new claims of the BUND. He wants to save the Hambach Forest and thus stop the open pit.

Judgment on Friday 11/24 at 10 o’clock, Verwaltungsgericht Köln.
Open Street Map

What to do on Day X? Or how we prevent eviction and deforesting together

The mood is tense. If RWE wants to enforce the planned clearing, they would have to destroy most tree houses. At the same time we are more than ever, louder than ever and more diverse than ever. This is our chance to prevent the clear-cutting, and thus set a clear sign against lignite mining and exploitation and for climate justice and non-hierarchical resistance. We have to be many for that!
To be informed in case of eviction register on our SMS alert list
and stay up to date by means of the blog. But what to do when the SMS arrives? This text helps to prepare you for eviction in the Hambach Forest, so that we can prevent it together!
For almost all options, it is helpful to have an affinity group. It would be ideal if you organize yourself in your city with people to support the forest occupation together. There are already many groups working on climate justice, such as the local groups of Ende Gelände.

Various police operations can occur in the Hambach Forest:

more…

Even the Ministry of Economic Affairs knows: no one needs coal anymore!

An internal paper from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs shows that producing electricity from coal (in Germany this is mostly lignite,alsocalled brown coal) is not only unnecessary, but even reduces security of supply, since Germany now produces more electricity than it consumes, and constant intervention in the grid is required to cope with this overcapacity.
http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr5/wdr5-leonardo-top-themen/audio-mehr-kohle-kraftwerke-als-noetig-100.html (German. Will be opened in a new tab.)

Already in 2004, the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) published a background paper on the report: “Lignite – a subsidy-free energy source?”, written by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Central statement: “Overall, according to the calculations of the Wuppertal Institute, lignite benefits amount to at least 4.5 billion euros annually.”
See https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3572.pdf
The more environmentally friendly gas power plants (they produce only half as much carbon dioxide per kilowatt) are not supported and are therefore often out of service. The support of renewables has meanwhile been reversed.

Already in 2004, the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) published a background paper on the report: “Lignite – a subsidy-free energy source?”, written by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Central statement: “Overall, according to the calculations of the Wuppertal Institute, the preferential treatment of the lignite amounts to at least 4.5 billion euros annually.”
See https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3572.pdf
The more environmentally friendly and flexible gas power plants (they produce only half as much carbon dioxide per kilowatt) are not supported and are therefore often out of service. The support of renewables has meanwhile been reversed.

Donation Appeal for the WAA

Hello dear folks. Maybe some of you know the WAA. The WAA is an Open Project Space in Düren-Gürzenich, not far from the Hambach Forest. (See http://waa.blogsport.de/english/. Will be opened in a new tab.) It was founded in 2011 and from there the Hambach Forest was occupied for the first time. Since then, it has provided an important support structure for activists in the Hambach Forest. But the WAA faces bigger money problems. For the project to exist at least 4000 € are needed until the end of the clearing season. We are grateful for every little contribution to keep this wonderful project alive.

Please transfer your donation to: Förderverein des Jugendumweltnetzwerkes „Für eine klimagerechte Zukunft“ e.V.
Bank GLS
BIC GENODEM1GLS
IBAN DE72 4306 0967 4080 428 100

“As Germany hosts green summit, an energy firm is razing a nearby forest”

Article about the Hambach Forest, found on edition.cnn.com, website of CNN.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/16/europe/germany-coal-hambach-forest/index.html

A reply on the German version of this blog:

Particular attention should be paid to the passage where Mr Steffen of RWE indicates as a reason for further clearing of the Hambach Forest that it is simply in the way:
“We are going to continue to log this season as well, it is inevitable. We have to do it because the forest is in the way of the excavators,” he explains.

That this is the philosophy of RWE – to destroy everything that is in the way without any consideration – it seems that they no longer intend to deny it.

The only question is how such people behave in traffic.
Yes, I could have avoided it. But the child, which ran in front of my car, was in the way.