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4 - Germany

Globalising the Local to Reach the National, Protest against Coal in the Lausitz

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2020

James Goodman
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Linda Connor
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Devleena Ghosh
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Kanchi Kohli
Affiliation:
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Jonathan Paul Marshall
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Manju Menon
Affiliation:
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Katja Mueller
Affiliation:
Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Tom Morton
Affiliation:
University of Technology Sydney
Rebecca Pearse
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Stuart Rosewarne
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
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Summary

Chapter 4 focusses on proposed brown coal mines for Lusatia, a region of Eastern Germany on the Polish border. The mines aimed to extend existing concessions, supplying coal for the nearby power generators. They were owned by the Swedish state-owned corporation Vattenfall, which sold them to a Czech conglomerate in 2016. The developmentalist argument for the mining is addressed first, especially in terms of its strategic value for German ‘energy security’. We examine the debates about coal’s economic necessity as a ‘transition fuel’ in Germany’s Energiewende, and its environmental or climate impacts. These themes are then developed in analysing the governance framework for the mine approval and opposition to it. The chapter shows how local opponents mobilise established conceptions of home or ‘heimat’ against the mining. These scripts, centred on local values of belonging in place, are integrated with concerns about impacts on livelihood and environment, and with concerns about climate change. The direct contradiction between Germany’s post-industrial ‘green economy’ and its determination to expand emissions-intensive brown coal is particularly powerful, not least as it destabilises technocratic authority.

Type
Chapter
Information
Beyond the Coal Rush
A Turning Point for Global Energy and Climate Policy?
, pp. 116 - 155
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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