CEOs of big German companies RWE and VW clash over lignite mining
Two executives of major German companies, VW CEO Herbert Diess and RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz have traded blows over lignite mining, reports business daily Handelsblatt. Diess triggered the dispute by declaring in an interview the Süddeutsche Zeitung that it was a mystery to him how anyone could “even think about extending a lignite mining area” just as car companies are investing billions into electrification, and added that he might consider joining anti-lignite protests in the Hambach Forest. RWE CEO Schmitz countered by inviting Diess to the Hambach mine “to show him our operations, the surroundings and our recultivation.”
Environmentalists were critical of Diess’ statements. Greenpeace climate and energy expert Karsten Smid told the newspaper Diess wanted to “deny his own climate responsibility and put the blame on someone else.” Volkswagen this week sharply criticised more ambitious EU car fleet emission limits.
For background, read the article Court's halt to forest clearing fans talk of easier German coal exit