Saturday 4.11., Start 20:00
Place: IGS Beuel

Link to the PDF format: _Ending-the-Age-of-Fossil-Fuels

Saving the climate? Sorted, Merkel’s got that one in the bag. A renewable energy transition? What else did you have in mind, I mean, this isn’t the middle ages. And phasing out coal? Puh-leese, who doesn’t want that – after all, even the miners’ union says so.

That this image of Germany as a squeaky clean champion of the environment has little to do with reality is becoming less and less of a secret: if you haven’t entirely slept through the ‘diesel scandal’, you’ll know that Germany remains a car country first, and a car country last. All the while the young but dynamic anti-coal-movement keeps pointing out the fact that Germany mines and burns more lignite than any other country in the world.
COP23, presided over by the drowning island state of Fiji, but taking place almost smack in the middle of Germany’s largest lignite district, is not only the perfect place to expose this hypocrisy – it is also the place where we can come together to discuss our alternatives. In this case: how can we organise a phase-out of lignite here in this country?

To be sure: the ‘whether’ of this is no longer up for debate – other questions, though, remain contentious even amongst ourselves. Should we get out now, right away – or maybe in about two decades? What about the often invoked ‘just transitions’ for workers in the coal industry? And if we get out of coal – does that simply mean burning more fossil gas?

In what we hope will be a slightly different-than-usual evening podium, we will be discussing these and other questions with an exciting host of guests: some directly from here in the Rhineland; others from the other side of the planet. Come and join the debate!

Charlotte Loreck (Oeko Institut / Prognos)
Heather Milton-Lightening (Indigenous Climate Action – Canada)
nn. (German trade union)
Sean Sweeney (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy)
Philipp Litz (agora Energiewende – Germany)
Noelie Audidor (‘Gastivists’)

Lyda Fernanda (Transnational Institute) and Tadzio Mueller (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung)