The heat dilemma

After the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 highlighted the hidden dangers of nuclear power generation, the German federal government, led by then Chancellor Angela Merkel, conceived one of the most ambitious projects envisaged by the European mainstream economy: Energywende or energy transition. In a clean-energy-friendly socio-economic environment that combined energy efficiency and sustainable development, the Teutonic government set itself the goal of eliminating the use of hydrocarbons and non-renewable materials in the long term.

The estimated blackout date was set for December 2022, at a time when uranium power generation accounted for only six percent of electricity consumption… However, those predictions evaporated as soon as the blackout was aborted. gas at the beginning of the same year as a result of the military conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent reactivation of nuclear power plants that were in a standby state. This statement caused consternation among German citizens, as the decision came from a coalition government between the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the 90/Green Alliance formed in 2021 after the general election.

Tensions in the energy sector in most European countries due to the lack of supplies from Russia led to the adoption of the Act on replacement power plants, issued by the German Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection. Its main promoter, Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, used as a value argument not to make 2030 the deadline to phase out fossil fuels. With the prospect of achieving this goal, Khabek planned not only to find alternative suppliers to Russian energy sources, but also had to provide new concessions to coal mining companies.

This decision undoubtedly had a political cost to the federal government. Frightened public opinion in Germany before these emergency measures is increasing, if we take into account the promises of environmental reduction, which were promoted by the ruling coalition during their election campaigns. A large part of the Green Party supporters expressed their disagreement with the support given to the extraction and exploitation of coal, which is considered the most polluting fossil fuel on the planet, which clearly contradicts the environmental obligations of the Federal Republic of Germany. and with commandments Energywende.

In the midst of this controversy, the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, of paramount importance due to its socio-economic and demographic weight in the German nation, became the epicenter of the country’s difficult environmental and energy situation when the expansion of the open-pit mine was announced by Harzweiler and the imminent demolition of the neighboring town of Lucerath.

The agreement concluded in October 2022 between Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck and his regional counterpart Mona Neubaur with the mega-company RWE on the exploitation of lignite mines in the Rhineland has led in recent months to one of the most compact mobilizations of European environmental activists. Faced with the inevitable increase in CO2 emissions produced by the most polluting variant of mineral coal, the European environmental movement, led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, has focused on protecting Lucerat as one of the causes of planetary interest. As part of the socio-environmental concerns expressed
Thousands of activists mobilized to prevent the destruction of Lucerat have turned the area into a symbol of the global struggle to save the environment by a group of scientists called “Scientists for the Future”, which includes professionals from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Although this campaign was preceded by other manifestations of Ende Gelände (civil disobedience movements against the use of coal as a source of energy), the inhabitants of the German town were able to informationally and geopolitically end the importance of the fight for climate justice on all fronts. In addition to collisions and disappointments, the global ecological current includes reasons for resilience in the pursuit of longevity and the development of the human species.

The mining industry has radically changed the natural and human landscape Photo: DW.

For weeks, the city of Lucerath has been the focus of the global environmental movement Photo: Reuters.

Interested in promoting renewable energy, the German government remains dependent on fossil fuels Photo: DW.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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