Global voices call on Germany to quit coal!

We’re at a critical juncture. Phasing out coal in Germany is a question of political will.

That’s why we’re calling on the German government to listen to the stories of those impacted by climate change around the world and understand what’s at stake.

Background

After months of deliberation, consultation and stalling, the German government is getting closer to deciding on the future of coal – and the future of our climate.

The “coal commission” is charged with developing a plan for Germany’s coal phase out and it will deliver its initial findings in the next few weeks. The latest IPCC report from the world’s leading climate scientists made it clear: limiting global warming to 1.5°C is not only possible, it is crucial to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Climate change is already rewriting the stories of millions of people around the world. This is a matter of survival.

Phasing out coal – and saving lives – is now a question of political will. And to make this clear to those making the decisions, we’re bringing that message and the stories told by frontline voices to the German government. They will have to hear us, and recognise that showing climate leadership means keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

Sign the petition

Germany, quit coal!

To Angela Merkel, Peter Altmaier and Svenja Schulze, as representatives of the German government:

"Together with people around the world impacted by climate change, we demand that you immediately put a stop to coal expansion, and start rapidly phasing out coal. This is necessary to prevent climate breakdown and keep warming below 1.5°C."

Sign the petition to add your voice:


"Together with people around the world impacted by climate change, we demand that you immediately put a stop to coal expansion, and start rapidly phasing out coal. This is necessary to prevent climate breakdown and keep warming below 1.5°C."

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We’re at a critical juncture. After years of deliberation, consultation and stalling, the German government is close to deciding on the future of coal - and the future of our climate.

A special commission was set up in Germany to plan the phase out of coal. But the coal lobby continues to create enormous pressure to delay real action. Fossil fuel companies like RWE knowingly put their own profits before the livelihoods and survival of those on the frontlines of climate change and fossil fuel extraction.

Phasing out coal is a question of political will. That’s why we’re calling on the German government to listen to the stories of those impacted by climate change and understand what’s at stake. By raising our voices, and gathering support from people all around the world, they will have to hear us, and recognise that showing climate leadership means keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

The latest IPCC report from the world’s leading climate scientists made it clear: limiting global warming to 1.5°C is not only possible, it is crucial to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Climate change is already rewriting the stories of millions of people around the world. This is a matter of survival.

Pressure on the German government to phase out coal has been building in recent months. Mass protests helped save the Hambach forest from coal company RWE’s plans to expand an enormous lignite mine - the largest source of CO2 in Europe. They were stopped by people power - and the struggle to save Hambi become a powerful symbol of Germany’s coal problem and resistance.

As one of the biggest emitters of carbon in the world, Germany has a responsibility to take urgent action in line with what science and justice demand. What’s more, the vast majority of its population supports a rapid coal phase-out. Given all that is at stake, there is no excuse not to move forward with a rapid transition to a just economy powered by community-led renewable energy.

As people from around the world, we demand that the German government phases out coal, stops fueling the climate crisis and acts to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

Sign the petition to add your voice:

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Amanda’s message

Video by 350.org.

The voices in focus

Stephen Thomas, Canada

“We need to phase out coal everywhere. We need strong movements that stretch across borders to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and to build a just transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Amanda Luna Tacunan, Peru

“The Amazon has lost its ecological balance due to climate change and extreme pollution. Increasing numbers of native animals are disappearing, while plants and indigenous communities are losing their means of survival. Humanity may have lost its sense of connection with this world, but you and I as individuals have a responsibility to fight for tougher laws to combat the climate crisis.”

Nicolas Fabre, Brazil

“The greatest impact in the region is certainly the water scarcity. Some municipalities receive in only one day half the amount of rain expected for the whole year, and in the other they are completely dry. They declare a state of emergency because of the floods, and six months later they declare emergency due to the drought. The time for the German government is to act now.”

Amira Ode, Puerto Rico

“1.5 C to my Caribbean community means that we get to stay in our homes, we get to keep celebrating our cultures and enjoying the places we love. Even though we will still live through many climate change effects, 1.5 will help me and the people I care about to preserve our way of live. Germany needs to phase out of coal now so that my island country of Puerto Rico can have a chance to thrive.”

Claudia Palmer, New Zealand

“Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we are working hard to keep fossil fuels in the ground. But if Germany don’t play their part too, our rural coastlines communities are at risk from severe flooding. Germany needs a coal phase out now!”

Wanun Permpibu, Thailand

“Thailand is a very vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change. And the same is true for other countries in Asia-Pacific. We cannot afford a single coal fired power plant because our lives are at risk already. We need to stop coal power and other fossil fuels.”

Reiko Takeuchi, Japan

“The German government is not only going to decide about an end date for the coal phase out. It is going to decide about our livelihoods and the survival of us and the coming generations. This year Okayama was severely flooded. We are just starting to stand up again from hopelessness. But the lives that were lost in this flood will never come back. I only hope from bottom of my heart that something this sad won’t happen again.”

Fenton Lutunatabua, Fiji

“Climate change is a lived reality for many people living in the Pacific. The ongoing use of coal in Germany and the decisions around it that the German government take affect us here in our island homes. We are watching you and we insist that you act with responsibility. We call on you to respect the need to limit global warming to 1.5 in order to keep our islands above water.”

Moses Sikaala, Zambia

“Because of climate change the weather patterns in Zambia have changed extremely. Normally we start to receive rains in October just as the planting season starts, now people have planted but there are no rains, and this means poor yield and severe economic impacts. We are all watching closely what the German government is doing and pray that the countries in the industrialised world can look to other energy sources and phase out of coal now.”

Jonas Vannar, Arctic

“As a reindeer herder you need the reindeer to be able to find food on their own. They smell the lichen under the snow. When it gets warm during the winter and then cold again, you get layers of ice building up on the ground, and they can’t smell the lichen which means they starve. I have experienced reindeer dying in my arms due to lack of food. This is something I never want to have to go through again.”

Heiner Lütke, Germany

“A hot summer, from April to October, with very little rainfall that proves we do not have to wait for climate change at all, it is already here. Every ‘investment’ in climate protection will give us very good ‘returns’ because we cannot measure the massive ‘costs’ of climate catastrophe. “

Anaïs Duong-Pedica, New-Caledonia

“It is with great pain that we see low-lying archipelagos such as Tuvalu and Kiribati deal with the effects of global warming and rising oceans. This forces Islanders to migrate and leave their ancestral and native lands, and neighbour island states to relocate the ‘refugees’ produced by industrialized countries’ disregard for our lives. Since burning fossil fuels is responsible for most sea-level rise, it is imperative that Germany makes a rapid move to renewable energy and stops depending on coal.”

What’s At Stake

The People’s Dossier on 1.5°C

A big, bold and creative climate movement is our only hope for solving the climate crisis. Grounded in justice and informed by science, our movement must step up to this moment and move the limits of what is possible.

Ordinary people from all walks of life are already leading the climate movement across the world. The People’s Dossier on 1.5°C contains the stories of these leaders and their communities fighting against fossil fuel projects and for a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy.

Download the People’s Dossier (PDF)

or read the stories below.

More about the fight against coal:

Watch: People power will save us

As another COP24 ends, we look at the ‘carbon bomb’ fossil fuel projects around the world that would tip us past 1.5C of global warming. And we look forward to 2019, the year that people power will tip the scales back towards climate justice.

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