Take immediate, concrete steps for climate justice
Open letter to the new coalition government of Germany
We are at a global crossroads in the climate crisis: which fate awaits billions of people and other living beings in the near future? Instead of listening to the loud demands and strong movements from the countries already particularly affected, the governments of the wealthy industrialized countries continue to ignore the problem.
Germany is one of these wealthy countries. With the fourth highest global emissions since 1850, Germany bears a huge historic responsibility for the climate crisis. While the Federal Republic praises itself internationally for its energy transition, the reality is dramatically different: Germany burns the most lignite of any country in the world, and it is not scheduled to phase it out until “ideally 2030”. These policies are not compatible with the Paris climate goals, let alone climate justice.
With a new coalition government, Germany now has the opportunity and responsibility to implement the urgently needed changes. That is why we are writing this letter.
Accelerate the coal phase-out, save Lützerath
Germany has to greatly accelerate the coal phase-out, especially for lignite. In this context, the village of Lützerath in the Rhineland (near Cologne) is of special importance – because it is to be destroyed this year for the coal underneath the village. In order to do this, the coal corporation RWE wants to expropriate the last farmer living in the village – if they get their way, it will even be without a court hearing.
Lützerath is more than a village
According to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research, already burning the coal under Lützerath would mean that Germany is not able to meet its contribution to the 1.5° limit. Therefore, under no circumstances must the coal under Lützerath and the five other threatened villages at the Garzweiler II open pit mine be dug up.
The people are ready
In 2019, after the illegal eviction of the Hambach Forest, 83% of Germany’s citizens declared their support for the preservation of the forest and about three quarters rejected further forced resettlements for coal. After years of protest, three summers of drought and this year’s flood catastrophe, the willingness of people in Germany to support socially just climate protection is even higher. It has never been so easy to act!
A first step towards solving the climate crisis
It is clear that we cannot solve the climate crisis with „business as usual“ or a „middle ground“ approach. We need a change in our economic system and our ways of life – away from competition, profit and growth, towards cooperation and a good life for all. This change can only come from below. However, the new German government can show that it has understood the climate crisis by responding with concrete, immediate measures.
Therefore, we call on you: Decide an immediate stop to any mining activities in Lützerath – and decide a coal phase-out that is consistent with Germany’s contribution to meeting the 1.5-degree limit. If you don’t, civil society will have to protect Lützerath with civil disobedience on the ground.
En Aucun Cas, Togo
Ali Cham (Killa Ace) and the Gom Sa Bopp movement, Gambia
Mathare Social Justice Centre, Kenya
No-Vox, Ivory Coast
Teddy Mazina and the Sindumuja movement, Burundi
Y’en a Marre, Senegal
Harol Rincón Ipuchima, Climate change and biodiversity coordinator of COICA, Amazon Basin
Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia – ONIC, Colombia
Movimento Sem Terra, Brazil
Frontline Action on Coal
CISPM (Coalition International des Sans-Papiers et Migrantes)
Fridays For Future Germany
Frontline Action on Coal UK
Mediterranea Saving Humans
Spin Time Labs
Tokata-LPSG RheinMain e. V.
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