A broad alliance of environmental organisations is writing an open letter to the environment ministers of the states of Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt to demand concrete measures to end coal subsidies that are harmful to the environment and the climate.
Coal companies are evading their legal obligation to be financially liable for the environmental damage they cause.
LEAG and MIBRAG are responsible for the extraction of 470 million cubic metres of groundwater per year, and the resulting sulphate and iron discharges are poisoning surface waters - the costs of which have so far been largely borne by the public purse.
The climate crisis requires an exit from coal as quickly as possible and thus an early closure of the opencast lignite mines. However, this does not mean that the coal companies should be paid with public funds to fulfil their legal obligations to restore the opencast mines.
The ongoing energy crisis has brought exorbitant profit margins to the companies operating coal-fired power plants, and the federal government is holding out the prospect of additional sources of revenue by reactivating lignite-fired power plants. Under the Coal Phase-out Act, they are to receive a further €4.35 billion in public funds as "compensation" (of which LEAG accounted for €1.75 billion), should the European Commission classify them as compatible with EU state aid law in a procedure currently underway.
Cottbus, 24.06.2022. The environmental network GRÜNE LIGA warns of an aggravation of the water shortage in the Spree River due to the German government's planned re-commissioning of the Jänschwalde E and F power plant units. Drinking water supplies for two million people may also be affected. If at all, these units should therefore only be used secondarily to other power plants.
"If units E and F are heavily utilised, the Spree will lose another 13 million cubic metres of water per year through the cooling towers. Since the blocks were last in operation, the water shortage in the Spree region has massively worsened due to the drought years. A renewed increase in cooling water consumption can therefore be at the expense of drinking water production for Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder)," warns René Schuster, lignite expert of the GRÜNE LIGA.
30 YEARS AFTER THE FIRST VILLAGE OCCUPATION AGAINST COAL EXCAVATORS
Lacoma was something special: a village that resisted its resettlement under the conditions of the GDR, later probably the first occupation of a village against lignite mining in Germany, then a temporary art and cultural free space and finally the occasion for the largest tree occupation in Germany at that time. A struggle that was still lost under the conditions of 2007, but laid the foundations for later successful lignite resistance.
At the invitation of the Cottbus' Grüne Liga group, many actors of the Lacoma resistance met on 11 June 2022 at what remains of the original site on the outskirts of Cottbus. In a photo action at the beginning, former Lacoma residents held a large-scale village view in front of the open pit mine, which is being flooded as the planned "Cottbus Baltic Sea". Lacoma was located at the edge of the open-cast mine - only a small part of the village is still recognisable, the largest part has disappeared in the open-cast mine. It was not easy for many to return to such a place. But in the end, the joy of seeing their companions again outweighed them - it was written all over their faces during the celebration.
After two virtual years, the environmental festival is finally back at the Brandenburg Tor. On Sunday, the GRÜNE LIGA Berlin will once again celebrate together with Berlin and its guests in the very centre of the city. "This year we are particularly pleased about the high-calibre guests who will be celebrating International Environment Day with us," says Sandra Kolberg, Managing Director of the GRÜNE LIGA Berlin.
For example, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke and Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir - in keeping with this year's motto "Water - Elixir of Life" - will debate with Prof. Dr. Götz Rehn, Managing Director of Alnatura, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Hartmut Vogtmann, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Alnatura Organic Farmers' Initiative, on the large festival stage about solutions for sustainable agriculture in view of drought, pollutant emissions and soil degradation. On the stage at the Soviet Memorial, the topic of vegan nutrition is on the programme. Cooking shows will demonstrate how many delicious things can be conjured up from vegan ingredients. The play "The Dragons of the Sea" by the street theatre group "Producciones Abismales" will address the issue of ocean pollution caused by plastic waste.
Potsdam, 9.5.2022. This week, the expert participation in the climate plan enters the second round. On this occasion, 27 stakeholders, who are involved by the Ministry of the Environment (MLUK) as experts in the development of the climate plan, published an open letter to Minister President Woidke today.
The experts from civil society, business and science call on the state government to specify in the climate plan the total amount of residual emissions that Brandenburg will still emit until it achieves climate neutrality. They also demand that these amounts of maximum residual emissions be anchored in a climate protection law. The demand is supported by over 70 Brandenburg organisations from the fields of climate, environmental and nature protection, transport associations, conventional and organic agriculture, forestry and hunting, the energy industry, local civil society initiatives, scientists and members of the Brandenburg Sustainability Advisory Council.