Press Release 11 Oct 2016
EPH’s first supervisory board is met by multiple protests +++ Ende Gelände demands end to coal now instead of opening new mines+++
Cottbus, 11th October 2016. This Tuesday a large number of Ende Gelände activists protested in various ways to demonstrate the resistance the climate movement will show to the new investor EPH in lignite mining in Lusatia. Ende Gelände demands an immediately end to coal instead of further investment.
The Swedish state-owned company Vattenfall handed over its Lusatian lignite branch to Czech investment group EPH on the 30th of September 2016. EPH’s advisory board met in Cottbus for the first time in order to elect a new board of directors. Ende Gelände activists took this opportunity to draw attention to the devastating consequences of lignite mining. Activists entered the pit in the early morning and left a banner stating “Our Climate, not your business”. Another group sat at a table close to the edge of the mine representing the message “the climate is negotiated here” and thus drew attention to Germany’s obligations according to the UN climate goals. In the early afternoon demonstrators will gather in front of Vattenfall’s headquarters to protest against the new investor.
“To us it’s perfectly clear: EPH’s only goal is short-term and is to make profits out of the lignite mining business. And the money will disappear into dubious offshore company constructions instead of reserve funds and renaturation.” states Insa Vries of Ende Gelände. “The ecological consequences for the global climate are catastrophic, as the rising CO2 emissions fuel climate change and millions of people in the global South lose their livelihood.”
Ende Gelände is also criticising former owner Vattenfall which made profits in the region for decades and is now evading its responsibility. Numerous villages were devastated and more are to follow with the new investment. “Anyone who invests in lignite mining is continuing a profit-oriented and hence socially and ecologically destructive economic system. We have to end coal now and develop fair and sustainable alternatives!” says Josefine Schulz of the Ende Gelände alliance.
The protests against the climate-destroyer lignite follow on from the Ende Gelände action which took place over a weekend in May 2016. From 13th to 15th May nearly 4000 people from all over Europe
blocked the Welzow opencast mine and the Schwarze Pumpe power plant in a mass action of civil disobedience. Ende Gelände calls for a move away from an economy based on fossil fuels and growth at the expense of people and the environment and to end coal now. The current protests are part of the global action week Reclaim Power targeting fossil fuels and calling for everyone in the world to have a right to energy.
Insa Vries: +49 15204560800