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Interview with Stephen Puetz
Immerath, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Nowhere in the world is more lignite mined than Germany. At present 60,000 hectares of lands and nature had been turned into a landscape of craters by excavators. Stefan Pütz is directly affected. His village still lies on the edge of the open coal pit Garzweiler, but energy company RWE's excavation for lignite production is an enduring threat.
Coal power is booming worldwide: States subsidise this fuel (the worst in terms of CO2 impact) with billions of Euros. New coal-fired power plants are springing up all over, promising supposedly cheap energy for a growing world population. The burning of coal is now the cause of 40 percent of global CO2 emissions and is the main driver of climate change.
Stefan Pütz resists, together with the Friends of the Earth Germany, before the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, so that his home village does not meet the same fate as hundreds of other places. The excavations have not yet stopped but the struggle continues. Stephan Puetz demands "Stop coal! It threatens our climate and destroys my homeland."
Friends of the Earth Germany demands of the World Climate Summit in Paris: Strict and binding CO2 emission reductions must be agreed. This requires a global phase-out of fossil fuels. For Germany, this means shutting down old coal pits and stopping the coal-diggers!