Stockholm, 6 October, 2015 — Greenpeace Sweden has today stated an interest in buying Vattenfall’s German lignite activities. This is in response to Vattenfall’s decision to divest from the lignite business and put their operation up for sale.

Banner Action against Lignite in Front of Jaenschwalde. © Chris Grodotzki

Environmentalists from Poland, Czech Republic and Germany protest against the burning of brown coal. They create a human banner in front of the coal power plant Jaenschwalde. The banner is shaped like a skull, coming like steam from a coal fired power plant and reads:” Coal kills”. The coal fired power plant Jaenschwalde is one of the five European power plants that are most damaging to the climate. © Chris Grodotzki

By owning 100 % of Vattenfall, the Swedish government has a unique a opportunity to leave enormous amounts of lignite in the ground. As the government cannot guarantee that it will use this opportunity, the environmental movement needs to take action. By buying the operation Greenpeace wants to ensure that the new mines Vattenfall is planning are not opened and the lignite is left in the ground.

Annika Jacobson, Greenpeace Sweden Programme Manager said:

“Greenpeace is taking concrete action on behalf of the climate by showing its interest in Vattenfall’s lignite activities. The Swedish government cannot contribute to an acquisition by a buyer that would continue to burn enormous amounts of coal. This is a signal Sweden cannot give before the Paris climate conference.”

“We will have a serious discussion with Vattenfall on the acquisition. We have a thorough knowledge on the future of the energy market and on climate politics.”

If the operation were sold to another buyer it would lead to opening of five new lignite mines. These mines contain an amount of carbon dioxide that would be equivalent to 1.2 billion tons.

At a time when coal use in China has diminished Vattenfall emits more carbon dioxide than the total emissions of Sweden. The German lignite activities are the dirtiest part of Vattenfall’s operations.

Selling the lignite activities and giving the opportunity to another actor to continue with enormous emissions does not help anyone.

Annika Jacobson says:

“Vattenfall and the Swedish government must take responsibility their emissions also outside the Swedish borders. If they don’t do it we must take action. The lignite must stay in the ground.“

ENDS

Notes

Greenpeace Letter of Interest

Vattenfall’s invitation to submit interest in German lignite activities:

More information:

Annika Jacobson, Greenpeace Nordic, Programme Manager for Sweden, +46 705 42 08 90
Juha Aromaa, Greenpeace Nordic, Communications Officer, +358 50 369 6202