Datteln. Germany. Coal power plant blocked. Several people chained up. Test run of power plant interrupted.
Submitted to Enough 14.
Datteln, Germany, 25th february 2020: In the early morning, 11 activists climbed on diggers and chained themselves to the conveyor belts of the power plant Datteln 4 in Germany. The test run of the newly installed coal power plant was thereby interrupted. According to the activists, their blockade is a necessary action for the mitigation of the climate crisis.
“Installing a new coal fired power plant during times of the climate crisis is as helpful as trying to extinguish a forest fire with gasoline. Instead, we need an immediate coal phaseout,” explains activist Elia Lang. The recent decision of the German government to make Datteln 4 operational has led to controversy, as the country’s CO2 emissions are likely to fail the reduction target for 2020. Further, the country’s efforts are projected to be ineffective for fulfilling the commitments of the 2015 Paris agreement.
The operator Uniper imports coal mainly from Columbia and Russia, where mining has repeatedly been reported to violate human rights. Its largest shareholder is Fortum, a Finnish energy company. Datteln 4 stands in contrast to Finland’s commitment to a coal phase out and to Fonum’s recent pledge to drop out of coal-based power generation. “Coal mining and the climate crisis affects people globally, but especially those that benefit the least from economic wealth, most strongly in the global south. We feel obliged to act ourselves because companies continue their exploitation of people and environment. We are part of the global climate justice movement,” states Lang.
Local groups have been protesting against Datteln 4 since its inception. Today’s action follows several demonstrations and an occupation earlier this year. The operator and the police have recently increased security measures at the site because they fear Datteln 4 could provoke further protest. At the beginning of february, the arrest of two theologians at the power plant received media attention.
In recent months, extreme weather events have been frequently observed. Long lasting bush fires in Australia and the repeated flooding of Venice, a World Heritage cultural site, made international headlines. According to the publications of the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) the impact and frequency of such events will become far more drastic if global warming cannot be limited to 1.5°C.
Updates on Twitter: @d4_vom_netz
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