April 18, 2016

350.org: “Sweden has to stop Vattenfall’s dirty deal”

Stockholm, Sweden/ Berlin, Germany — Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall is expected to decide today to sell its lignite operations in Germany to Czech investor EPH and investment group PPF.

350.org Europe Team Leader Nicolò Wojewoda commented:

“The Swedish government needs to stop this dirty deal from happening and keep its coal in the ground. It would be shockingly hypocritical to formally sign the Paris climate agreement this week and at the same time be complicit in a deal fueling climate chaos. Getting the dirtiest of fossil fuels off Vattenfall’s books is not going to clean Sweden’s hands – the deal just means that coal will be burned by an unscrupulous investor instead.

“Vattenfall has cashed in on polluting our atmosphere, destroying people’s homes, health and the environment for years. It cannot walk away now and hand over its dirty business to shady buyers [1] that already announced that they see no end to burning coal. The Swedish government needs to take responsibility and ensure that Vattenfall phases its lignite operations out in a socially just manner that ensures its workers and their families are taken care of.

“This May, thousands of people will bring Vattenfall’s coal operations in Lusatia to a halt. No matter who will be operating the mines, we simply cannot continue to burn coal to avoid irreversible climate chaos – and thousands are prepared to put their bodies on the line to keep it in the ground.” [2]

Fanny Sannerud, 350.org campaigner in Sweden who is mobilising Swedes to join the action shutting down Vattenfall’s lignite operations said:

”By holding on to the mines and closing them down, Sweden has its big chance to keep the coal in the ground – an opportunity we can’t afford to lose. The climate crisis won’t go away by selling it off. Sweden has to take a leading role in the energy transition and stop the sale to EPH, a company longing for a coal renaissance. The Swedish government needs to take responsibility for people, the environment and the climate.”


Notes to editors

[1] The recently released ‘Panama Papers’ revealed that Czech energy company EPH and investment group PPF have links to shady offshore accounts.

[2] Following a similar action at RWE’s coal fields in the Rhineland last year, thousands are expected to join the mass action Ende Gelände (‘here and no further’) from 13-16 May to shut down Vattenfall’s coal operations in Lusatia. More than 20 busses from Germany and across over have already been confirmed and over 100 info events and trainings are underway, for instance in Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam and Vienna. The action is part of a series of similar mass actions around the globe, called Break Free from fossil fuels. Between 4-15 May, people around the world will take escalated action targeting major coal, oil and gas projects on six continents.

Contact: Melanie Mattauch, 350.org Europe Communications Coordinator, [email protected], +49151 5812 0184