Greenpeace activists climb on seven cranes at the coal power plant building site of Vattenfall in Boxberg. They hang a huge Banner from the crane reading: Vattenfall: Stop building! Climate protection instead of brown coal! Smaller banners at the other cranes read: Stop CO2!
The 34 activists camped in cranes on the site, and hung a giant
banner relaying this to Vattenfall, and small banners with the
message "Stop CO2" were hung from six cranes on the site. On ground
level the message was clear "Climate change, powered by
On Wednesday, three days later, 11 activists remained perched on
one of the cranes, while 20 volunteers painted "Stop CO2" onto the
side of the smoke stack under construction. Vattenfall has refused
to meet with Greenpeace to talk about climate change and how the
Boxberg plant will contribute to the global warming.
Coal is number one climate killer, and the coal they are
planning to burn at Boxberg is lignite, or brown coal, the dirtiest
type possible. The emissions from Block R alone, where the blockade
is happening, would discharge 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 a year,
equivalent to the entire CO2 emissions of Costa Rica over the same
"Germany repeatedly attempts to establish itself as a climate
protection leader on the international stage, yet continues to
build filthy lignite power plants. This makes a mockery of
Germany's climate commitments. The German government and Vattenfall
must immediately stop construction of coal plants, and invest in
renewable energy instead" said Gabriela von Goerne, Greenpeace
Climate and Energy Campaigner, at the Boxberg site.
Policy and science reality check
UN scientific findings dictate that industrialised countries
must cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by
2050, to keep global mean temperature rise as far below 2°C,
compared to pre-industrial levels, as possible, urgently needed to
prevent climate change from spiralling out of control.
Yet, governments across the world continue to invest in coal -
the dirtiest power source in the world. If new coal-fired power
plants, across the world, continue to be built at their current
rate, this outdated technology will account for an enormous 43
percent of global CO2 emissions within 20 years.
Vattenfall is one of the biggest power companies in Europe,
active in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Denmark and the
Netherlands. A massive 63 percent of the power they produce in
Germany is generated through brown coal, despite this the company
is aggressively marketing itself there as climate protection
Ironically, given their refusal to meet with Greenpeace,
Vattenfall is running a massive advertising campaign in German
newspapers calling for dialogue to build trust in the company.
Well, this is exactly what Greenpeace is offering them -
dialogue. Perhaps it's the terms that are scaring them so much.
Greenpeace want to talk about the relationship between coal and
climate change, Vattenfall want to be considered "climate aware"
while investing heavily in brown coal, the largest contributor to
CO2 emissions possible.
The volunteers are heading down from the cranes now, but their
demand for concrete answers from Vattenfall about their climate
change policy remains. The three day continuous presence at the
Boxberg site is just the beginning for this campaign.
Update - 4 October 2007 -
Protest is over, fornow. The activists on the crane stayedthere
for over 60 hours, even through horrendous rain. The protesters
(from Poland, Denmark, Swiss,Czech and Germany) have now left the
site. But our energy revolution continues.
Shut down coal plants by saving energy. Join the 7 steps to learn how.
We don't accept money from governments or corporations -- and our financial independence is what allows us to pressure both. We rely on over 2 million people worldwide who give whatever they can. Please join us.