German Federal minister of State, Mr. Jade Schulze (SPD) has asked RWE group to refrain from controversial grubbing-up work for an open pit during work of Coal Commission. Schulze said to news agency DPA: "If a social consensus is to be organized, n no complete facts may be created during such a phase." The discussions in structural Change Commission are important and difficult. They should now "not be burdened by fact that trees are being felled at a brown coal pit during meetings".
Schulze continued: "That would be just as unbearable as if, during se talks, additional shutdown of a power station would be decided. No complete facts can now be created – neir through grubbing-up nor by job-dismantling in regions. "
The conflict is about planned grubbing-up work by RWE in Hambach Forst in Rhineland for a brown coal mining plant re. The forest is regarded as a symbol of resistance against lignite. In autumn, RWE wants to clear more than half of remaining forest. On or hand, re are massive protests. Environmental associations and Greens are calling for a moratorium, i.e. a postponement of grubbing-up work.
RWE reacted with amazement to statements of Schulze. The Coal Commission itself stated that planned grubbing-up has nothing to do with its work, energy group stated: "It is all more incomprehensible that a connection should be made here, which was expressly rejected yesterday."RWE speaks of "normal operational process"
The group continued with: "We had explained in detail facts of minister in person and in writing, and made it clear that long-planned grubbing-up is absolutely necessary in short term in order to Hambach coal extraction from open pit To ensure. " Grubbing-up was based on a clear legal basis and was a normal operational process. After a grubbing-up waiver last year, temporal buffers were depleted.
By end of year, Coal Commission is to work towards an exit from polluting coal-fired electricity. It should also present proposals for financing and shaping structural change in regions such as Lusatia and Rhine region. Representatives of politics, science, business, trade unions, environmental associations and citizens ' initiatives sit in panel.Federal government threatens to abandon Coal Commission
Due to planned RWE grubbing-up, Federal Environmental Association had threatened to exit Commission. "If re is grubbing-up, this would be a central conflict for us, which would question our cooperation in Coal Commission," said Dirk Jansen, managing director of NRW State Association for Environment and Nature conservation, DPA. "But that's not yet." The Confederation, with its federal chairman, Hubert refuses to represent Commission.
The planned grubbing-up of RWE was a dominant issue at meeting of Commission on Thursday. However, panel did not want to position itself on subject. The Chair would have pointed out that this does not fall within Commission's mandate, it was said. The next meeting is scheduled for August 29th.Updated Date: 25 August 2018, 12:00