News Digest Item
14 Sep 2018

RWE risks image disaster by throwing activists out of Hambach Forest


The start of evictions of anti-coal activists in the Hambach Forest “has already done enormous damage to the image of [energy company] RWE”, which could turn into a veritable “disaster” once the company starts cutting trees in October, Jürgen Flauger, Kathrin Witsch, Silke Kersting and Klaus Stratmann write in the Handelsblatt. While the remaining forest near the Hambach lignite mine might merely consist of 100 hectares, “it has become a symbol for environmentalists against the contested energy source,” the authors say. RWE insists that it has no choice but to start mine expansion soon for technical reasons, and, according to the article, the mine in Hambach is one of the company’s most profitable operations that it does not want to see closed any time soon. “But the conflict nonetheless comes at a very inconvenient time for RWE,” the authors say, arguing that the company has a great interest in a viable compromise in Germany’s coal exit commission, which becomes more unlikely with every tree cut down.

Read the article in German here.

See CLEW's Coal exit commission watch and the dossier Utilities and the energy transition for background.

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