Despite all their rhetoric, Angela Merkel’s Grand Coalition government is clearly not all that interested in really powering past coal. The latest evidence is its decision to allow the Uniper-owned 1,200 MW hard coal-fired power plant, Datteln 4, to come online in 2020 — against the recommendations of the Coal Commission. As the government embarks on a bizarre sales campaign peddling the idea that Datteln’s advanced technology will somehow help improve the climate, activists are organizing a protest wave that will dwarf previous actions around the embattled Hambach Forest. Michael Buchsbaum reviews the situation.
For most people, the transition away from coal and fossil fuels towards clean energy production is a remote idea. But for citizens living in a handful of towns located within Germany’s remaining brown coal mining districts, the Energiewende, or its increasingly slow progress, is anything but remote, L. Michael Buchsbaum explains.
The German Coal Commission has recommended that all coal be phased out by 2038. But this trajectory won’t be quick enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
Late on Thursday evening, the 4th of October, tens of thousands of dedicated environmentalists were preparing for a battle. Shovels, axes, saws? Ready. Spray bottles to get tear gas out of your eyes? Filled. Masks to remain anonymous? Packed. L. Michael Buchsbaum reports from the Hambacher Forest.
After a week of skirmishes between scores of tree-occupying activists within the ancient Hambacher Forest and almost 4,000 police officers evicting them at the behest of the energy company RWE AG, the struggle has taken a tragic turn. L. Michael Buchsbaum reflects on the legacy of journalist Steffen Meyn.