Don’t Wipe Out Old-Growth Forest to Build Coal Mine

Target: Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environmental Minister of Germany

Goal: Don’t allow German energy company to raze the Hambach forest to expand coal mining operations.

At nearly 12,000 years old, the Hambach forest in Germany is one of Europe’s oldest forests. Since the 1960s, the German energy company RWE has been progressively destroying the Hambach forest to mine lignite, a highly polluting form of coal. Now only about ten percent of the original forest remains, and RWE plans to destroy that as well.

Although Germany has made major investments in renewable energy in recent years, there is much that remains to be done. Even as Germany has expanded its investments in solar and wind power, it has also more than doubled the number of coal-powered plants in the last 30 years. Germany is currently the biggest polluter in the European Union, accounting for more than 20 percent of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Hambach forest provides some of the last remaining habitat for endangered species like the grey wolf, golden eagle, and Eurasian otter. The expansion of the mines have also displaced people who make their home in forest villages, forcing them to relocate.

Sign this petition to urge Germany’s Environmental Ministry to protect this ecologically important old-growth forest.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Hendricks,

I am writing to urge you to protect the Hambach Forest. Turning this old-growth forest into a lignite mine would be an environmental catastrophe. Burning lignite is one of the most environmentally harmful ways to generate energy. Per amount of energy generated, burning lignite produces twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas. Furthermore, lignite-fired power plants contribute heavily to air pollution, which has been linked to severe respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Although the energy company RWE has said that it intends to plant trees to partially replace the forest that it destroys, environmentalists have expressed major concerns, emphasizing that new forest is not ecologically similar to the 12,000 year old forest that exists now. It is unclear if the endangered species that live in today’s Hambach forest will be able to survive in this replacement forest.

I ask that you and your colleagues at the German Environmental Ministry do all you can to protect the Hambach forest. This will have beneficial effects on Germany’s biodiversity and on the health of the German people.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ZeroOne

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5 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    don’t do it! just stop it!

  2. Robert Ortiz says:

    This sick dependence on coal and fossil fuels must end! Nature and the forests and animals come first.

  3. Jeannette Allan says:

    This is abhorrent, will the greed, stupidity , and vested interest of those coal industries not be satisfied until all our beautiful forests and habitats are irreversibly destroyed, and all the wildlife gone. These imbeciles must learn we are living in the 21st century, and no matter how much they and their investors want it they cannot turn back time . Those cretins must wake up to reality before it’s to late…Our precious irreplaceable forests,and environment must be saved.

  4. SAVE IMPORTANT HAM BACH FOREST FROM COAL MINING.

  5. YES JEANNETTE ALLAN, YOU ARE SO RIGHT I AGREE WITH EVERYTING YOU SAID, I COULDNT HAVE SAID IT BETTER.

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