News Digest Item
20 Feb 2018

Referendum for bottom-up coal exit in Germany’s second city Hamburg

Tageszeitung (taz)

A referendum in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, seeks to ban the use of coal power for heating and electricity generation by 2030, Sven-Michael Veit writes for the Tageszeitung (taz). “We in Hamburg have to take the coal exit in our own hands,” says Wiebke Hansen of the anti-coal alliance Tschüss Kohle. The reason for this bottom-up approach is a dispute between the city and the utility Vattenfall, as the latter wants to use its coal plant at Moorburg to supply district heating for Hamburg even though in a 2013 referendum the local citizens voted to re-municipalise the city’s district heating system. The alliance fears that a new senate in the city could overturn this vote and calls for a second referendum aimed at making climate protection an automatic priority for all infrastructure-related decisions taken in the city. “Our aim is not to quickly shut down the Moorburg coal plant,” Hansen says, but to “fight against the global rise in temperatures as well as air pollution at local level.”

Find the article in German here.

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