The „Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerk AG“ (Rhinish-Westphalian Power Plant Corporation) is the second largest energy provider in Germany. It consists of different business divisions, one of them RWE Power AG. The RWE Power AG is responsible for the extraction of raw materials and for power supply in Germany, and is the one that is sueing us in our civil court case.
The corporation is running three mines (Hambach, Inden, Garzweiler) and four big power plants in the rhenish lignite mining area. RWE plans to clearcut the last remains of the Hambach Forest for the expansion of the mines. About 120 villages have been “utilised due to mining“ since the 1950’s, nearly 40.000 people had to leave their homes. For roughly a dozen more villages, demolition still lies ahead.
The power plants Neurath, Niederaußem and Weisweiler alone emit around 77 million tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere each year, which makes nearly ten percent of German GHG- emissions.
Detailed information about local and global effects of coal mining can be found on the homepage of BUND NRW (link is only in German).