Munich’s number 1 polluter
The hard-coal-fired power plant produces more annual carbon emissions than all of the cars and trucks in Munich put together. At over 2 million tons, it is responsible for almost a fifth of Munich’s total emissions. The power plant burns 800,000 tons of hard coal every year, releasing toxic mercury into the air, which is then absorbed by the local human and animal population.
All of the coal burnt in Munich is imported, which is another reason to oppose the operation of HKW Nord. 40% of the coal comes from the Czech Republic and 60% from North America and Russia. The mining and transportation of hard coal destroys the natural environment and breaches human rights.
Clean and ethical alternatives already exist
The municipal utility company, as co-owner of the plant, describes Munich as a “renewable city”. To make this claim a reality, renewables such as geothermal, photovoltaic and power-to-gas options are available to the utility company now. We should not have to wait 20 years for them to be used.
But according to a majority ruling of the City Council in the spring of 2015, the power plant will be allowed to continue running until 2035 – a decision based on economic rather than ecological reasons that do not stand up to closer scrutiny. The hard-coal-fired power plant is actually a financial risk for Munich. If the plant’s carbon emissions increase or a law is passed to ban coal in Germany, the utility company faces a financial burden of millions of euros. A controlled exit would be a far more affordable alternative.
In addition, hard-coal-fired power plants can only ramp their production up or down very slowly and inflexibly, consuming far too much unnecessary energy in the process. Power plants with more flexible capacity are better able to absorb fluctuations in demand and supply, resulting in considerable energy and cost savings.
What is more, if we fail to address climate change, more and more natural catastrophes and famines will rob millions of people of their homes and livelihoods. They are doomed to become climate refugees.
Let us work together to combat climate change.
“Air pollution is one of the main causes of death for around 600,000 children under five – every year.”
– Anthony Lake, UNICEF Director –
Leave hard coal behind!
Switching to renewable energy from sun, wind and water is both an environmental and economic necessity.
To make this urgent change happen, exercise your right to have a say and support the public petition “Raus aus der Steinkohle” (Leave hard coal behind). You can simply download the list of signatures under: http://www.raus-aus-der-steinkohle.de/wie-mitmachen/ and add your own signature to vote for closure of this Munich plant. Protect the Planet expressly endorses this initiative.
Renewables are an environmentally sustainable alternative
Munich’s geographic location is not only ideal for holidaymakers but also from an environmental perspective. For Munich lies in an area particularly suited to renewables like solar and geothermal power. This means the city could supply up to 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources, but this is currently nowhere near the case.
Munich needs you to take action!
Switch to green!!
Concerned Munich residents who want to make a stand against the North Munich coal-fired plant can take other action besides signing the petition. You don’t have to wait until the petition meets the legal and bureaucratic thresholds. There are other ways of making your mark:
- By rethinking your power contracts with the Munich utility company, due to its continued operation of the coal-fired power plant, and switching to an ecological provider. To find out how easy it is, go to: https://revolution-energy.com/
- By checking your options for meeting your own energy needs from renewables like solar panels
- By joining an energy community e.g. https://www.sonnenbatterie.de/de/home.
If a large number of customers stopped buying power from the Munich utility company, it would soon take notice or at least monitor the trend very closely.