26 August 2021

Germany’s infamous Datteln IV coal plant hangs by a thread

Germany’s infamous Datteln IV coal plant hangs by a thread

 

MÜNSTER, 26 August 2021 – The future of Germany’s controversial Datteln IV coal plant hangs in the balance after a German higher court today ruled that the plant was constructed illegally. With no possibility for appeal, the plaintiffs – Friends of the Earth Germany and local residents – are calling for the plant to be shut down.

Datteln IV has been steeped in controversy since plans for its construction were announced in 2005 due to its close proximity to residential areas and a hospital that treats seriously ill children with acute lung disease [1], and because it was brought online against the advice of the country’s coal commission [2].

“This coal plant has been one big disaster from the get go. The German government knew as it came online that its owner Uniper planned to operate it until 2038, hence sabotaging the country’s climate commitments. When you add in the fact that Germany’s new climate law makes a 2030 end date for coal inevitable, and that the plant has only ever operated illegally, the case for its closure becomes overwhelming,” said Fabian Hübner, coal campaigner, Europe Beyond Coal. 

The ruling comes just days after Alok Sharma [3] – president of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow – echoed the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ calls [4] for OECD countries like Germany to arrive at November’s meeting with plans to exit coal by 2030 [3]. The Datteln IV case is just the latest in a litany of attempts by Uniper to drag out the lifespan of its coal plants, with the company’s rap sheet also including ongoing efforts to sue the Dutch government over its climate-protecting coal phase out law [4].

 

Contacts:

Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Fabian Hübner, Coal Campaigner, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49178633772

 

Notes:

  1. Report: Datteln IV: Dirty Relic of The Coal Age https://www.bund.net/fileadmin/user_upload_bund/publikationen/kohle/kohle_datteln_4_broschuere_englisch.pdf
  2. German Coal Commission Final Report, page 62: “For power stations already built but not yet in operation, the Commission recommends that a negotiated solution be sought in order not to brig these power stations into operation.”
  3. https://www.sse.com/news-and-views/2021/08/cop26-president-consigns-coal-to-the-history-books-and-looks-to-low-carbon-future/
  4. UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for EU and OECD countries to exit coal by 2030: https://www.politico.eu/article/no-new-coal-un-chief-tells-eu/
  5. Germany currently plans to exit coal in 2038: https://beyond-coal.eu/2021/08/03/overview-of-national-phase-out-announcements/
  6. Court ruling: https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/51_210826/index.php

 

About:

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu

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