Seeing the wood for the trees


Clearing operations at Germany’s embattled Hambach Forest , to make way for utility RWE’s proposed  expansion of a lignite coal mine, were halted by a Munster court. Asked to decide whether the forest is protected by EU environmental rules, the judges said RWE did not provide sufficient evidence why cutting down the old forest is, as claimed, to maintain energy supply security. They ordered that deforestation be stopped. 

The judgement follows extensive protests by campaigners, including a group of porn actresses ,who  joined the campaign to save the forest - thus elevating its public profile enormously.

RWE instantly warned “the economic loss resulting from the expected operational restrictions to be over 100 million euros per year.”

But that latest new blockbuster report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is focussed on the dire warning that the role of forests in combating climate change risks is being overlooked by the world’s governments. The scientists are saying that halting deforestation is “just as urgent” as eliminating the use of fossil fuels, and that protecting and restoring forests would achieve 18% of the emissions mitigation needed by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change. 

So, a double whammy for RWE. It couldn’t happen to a nicer company.