Anti-coal activism in Germany

One main failure of the Energiewende has been coal’s continued presence, and German activists are taking matters into their own hands to do what the government won’t: phase out coal.

Environmental activism is not new in Germany – the anti-nuclear movement and the beginnings of the Energiewende show that people are engaged and care about the environment. However, larger organized movements to phase out coal are relatively new.

Organizations such as Greenpeace and BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) have large memberships which they leverage to organize marches and campaigns. They have also been able to lawsuits to stop coal from being mined due to environmental reasons.

The protest group “Ende Gelände” (roughly translates to stop (mining) site) uses civil disobedience, such as occupying and shutting down lignite mines, to protest against fossil fuels. Such occupation and protest movements have been successful: the of the Hambach Forest, in conjunction with court cases, has stopped mining there from beginning.