Home ACTIVISM Germany had a “zero emissions” day…

Germany had a “zero emissions” day…

Many media said Germany had a “zero emissions” day. For one day this country has been able and use only energy coming from renewable sources.

Nobody said what happens in Germany during the other 364 days. Coal plants are still extremely popular and the exploitation of this energy source is causing great problems both from an environmental and social point of view. Many people had to leave their homes to leave soil for mining or because of pollution caused by coke energy plants.

As in the village of Rohne. “Only around here they want to evacuate 1,700 people – said Edith Penk, one of those forced to do that -. All these excavations, these jobs on a large scale to extract lignite are destroying our communities, our history, our landscape “.

EU knows quite well this situation: in 2014, published a report titled “Europe’s dirty 30”. There are many countries that continue using coal to generate electricity. And, among the most polluting, there is Germany.

Coal, despite the efforts and promises made by all countries to reduce CO2 emissions, it is still widely used as an energy source. In the second half of the nineties Europe financed KONVER (1995-1997) program to favor and eliminate the use of coal. EU provided a total budget of 17 billion ECU (the old name of Euro). And great part of this money ended up in Germany. Result? Germany continues to be (with Poland and Great Britain), the largest user of power plants fueled by coal.

Goal of the German government was to reduce CO2 emissions by 40per cent by 2020.
To discourage extraction of lignite and the use of coal government suggested to impose a tax. But this proposal was wrecked, because of pressures by the largest coal industry. “In Germany, the problem lies primarily in the fact that the coal lobby is powerful – said Claudia Kemfert of the energy department of the DIW research firm -. It is not inconceivable that the agreement with the government also provides subsidies underground. “.

Consequences for the environment and health of people are serious: according to the EU report, in Europe the use of coal as an energy source has caused 18,400 deaths, plus 2.1 million days intended for treatment and 4.2 million working days were lost. People who presents respiratory diseases because of these power plants have been 28.8 million.

The European technical interpretations leave no doubt: two thirds of CO2 emissions caused by the use of coal is attributable to just two countries, Germany and the United Kingdom. Yet the use of coal as an energy source is not diminishing.
A recent study commissioned by Greenpeace and CAN to some researchers found that “emissions from power plants in the European coal, in most cases very old, are expected to decline three times faster than projected by the EU to be in line with efforts global necessary to moderation by the planet’s fever. ”

The fact that this does not occur and that, indeed, they continue and produce energy by coal power is another demonstration of the results of COP21 in Paris and in New York: these meeting seem to the be walkways to convince people that the world leaders have the environment at heart.

Data, however, show that it is not true: interests of big industries and corporations, are much more important.

C.Alessandro Mauceri


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