Brown coal, green washed

About the opposed, but often successful argumentation strategies of germany’s large carbon dioxide ier rwe

Nuclear power? Helps against climate change. Climate change? Is not a concrete danger. The argumentation strategies of germany’s large carbon dioxide ier rwe are quite opposed, amazingly multi-faceted and often crowned success. Without them, the bundestag was probably not allowed to build the coarse carbon dioxide spin in europe

Contrusion freedom looks a little different: on the one hand, the essener energieriesieg rwe emphasizes its nuclear contribution to the reduction of the greenhouse effect: "our nuclear power plants", four at the number, "avoid around 40 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the year."The exit from nuclear energy, rwe is talking about, from the point of view of climate care. On the other hand, the company dear in september 2006 to deny his salaries before the kolner oberlandesgericht that the greenhouse effect is a real problem at all. The lawyers, staffed by the renowned law firm baker mckenzie, languages of "subjective perception" of a "adopted [n] danger", which is "neither concretely opposite".

From the court records: rwe sued greenpeace against the lignite degradation in hambach for a multi-journal protest

First adoption

The greenhouse effect is useful if it is necessary to shine the own nuclear power plants in good light. His existence is denied when the rwe activities are in the critique in terms of coal. Volker heck is head of corporate communication / public affairs of rwe ag. Previously, he was responsible for the energy and environmental policy area. The 42-year-old should therefore be cumbersome to answer an exciting question competently: how can the contradiction between one-on and other arguments cancel?

Volker heck replies in writing – and he answers:

In germany and europe, the fight for climate protection is at the top of the agenda. We accept these political frameworks and make ourselves the challenge of co2 reduction.

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Sometimes rwe himself besides his coal-fired power plants as climate protection. So also the expansion of the one in grevenbroich-neurath, which is fired with the particularly climate-damaging lignite. Already now the plant is the seventy co2 source of europe after a study by the oko institute. Now she should be extended by two on three blocks.

From an imagebrospey for the rwe coal power plant neurath

"What is being built there in neurath is europe’s large carbon dioxide spin," says greenpeace climate expert karsten smid. With the expansion, "the course for the co2 outset by 2050 were placed."Hermann scheer, prasident of eurosolar, the european association for renewable energies, is not amused. Although the power plant will be more efficient than its transaction. Indes:

Climate treatment is reduced once to nine percent, but the remaining 91 percent will be stipulated to 40 years. But we need the reduction to zero percent, which is possible thanks to renewable energies possible."

By 2050, the federal republic should reduce its entire co2 outset to 80 percent, as the first climate-enquet commission of the german bundestag already demanded in 1990.


Coarse carbon dioxide spin in europe? Of course you can also interpret the fact very differently. "In neurath", pr-man volker heck, "rwe builds the world’s most modern lignite power plant with optimized plant technology."Compared to sewing plants, the co2 outskout surned by 30 percent. The economist pays extension to the funf most important climate protection projects of its group.

Fourth passage

Pr work for coal-fired power plants and their nuclear counterparts is apparently a difficult undertaking in times of green hypes. Since the logic often remains as on the track like her sister, the stringency of the argumentation – respectively: the argumentation.


Greenwashing, the oxford dictionary, is the "dissemination of disinformation by an organization to present an environmentally responsible image". Mr. Heck, operates rwe greenwashing? Has rwe operated each greenwashing? "No," says the communications professional. "We represent what we do."And how do you grasp what rwe does for climate protection together? "We enhance energy efficiency and lower the co2 outstob."


Which interests have what goals pursue rwe? The company wants to revise the results of nuclear phase-out. At least partially. And for good reason: under the interrelation "billion poker for climate protection" reported the handelsblatt in september 2006:

The energy groups rwe and enbw, whose meiler is to be switched off as the next, had said they wanted to apply for a diary of terms.

Due to the "politically prescribed exit from nuclear power", the sheet, the german energy industry threatened additional investments of up to 32 billion euros. In addition, ready paid ancestral elector are particularly profitable, according to taz a profit of up to one million euros. And the daily.

Currently, rwe is about to extend the term of the altreactor biblis a. Strategy: the decommissioning should now be prevented. And later, in other political majorities, take a look. The federal environment minister is still in front of it: sigmar gabriel rejects the transfer of amounts of electricity to the rwe reactor biblis a: it was "just absurd, … Young reactors have a short run and transfer the maturities to old reactors ". Rwe fights further.

But also in terms of coal, it’s about tricky sums of money. Especially in connection with emissions trading, ie the purchase and sale of pollution rights. "This could cost us more than one billion euros", quoted the financial times germany unlangst the rwe board ulrich jobs.

Of course, rwe wants to flank the operation of his previous and the construction of his art coal-fired power plants through pr and lobby work. Despite (currently) highly swarming climate debate, you take a look at investment security. This is at least financially rational: so the expansion of the neurath power plant with "around 2.2 billion euros is one of the largest investment projects in germany", as it is called in a rwe high gloss brochure. Last but not least, rwe seeks a "healthy balance" and the "market and cost management" as well as "growth and competitiveness" in "largely sustained market". Conclusion: rwe has a significant, a vital, a billion-heavy interest, the openness and the legislators in his own sense.


Properly public are rwes relation not always. The group is said to be intensive lobbying at all political levels. There is always a name – volker heck. The magazine of the economic journalist portrays the birth oberhausener with the words:

Where tail worked, the cycling of the group policy turned – well, as lubricated goods now probably the wrong picture. But anyway pracisis and so-free.

That’s not relieved that. He says:

We strive for good contacts with all political decision-makers.

For greenpeace man karsten smid is that euphemism:

Rwe-cheflobbyist heck enters and out in the bundestag, he organizes breakfast with politicians and influences them with handouts.

Heck denies the circular route. Smid’s statements are "simply wrong". But the time also reported at the end of 2005:

The energieriese rwe currently spends selected parliamentarians with a two-sided argumentation aid that no doubt is where the journey should go: towards the abolition of the red-green [atom] exit law.

Rwe lobbyist saben de facto at the ministry of ministry, when relevant laws were designed for the group, the grone bundestag administrator claims barbel hohn. Partly, says hohn, then wordwootial rwe quotes found in the legal text. As in the federal government, so in the state of north rhine-westphalia: hohn struggles the old green formula "rwe = spd = nrw". And apparently, little has changed by the change to a cdu-guided state government. So rwe announced the then minister hohn to replace the old coal-fired power plants through more efficient recent newer.

Now the old power plants are simply operated under black-yellow.

Eighth ad

The federal association of german industries ubte in the run-up to the energiegommel massive prere on the federal government. Their energy policy objectives could hit the industry "in the core", struck it in a bdi explanation. The expansion of renewable energies bring additional costs in billions. The term of the nuclear power plants, so the association, must be requested. The emissions trading was also driven that no coal-fired power plants could be built in germany from 2013. For the case of lack of well-behavior, the entrepreneurial lobby threatened with the highest penalty: creeping deindustrialization! Production repayment abroad!

For hermann scheer, the bdi lives "behind the moon": "he acts like a federation of conventional energy providers and not like the association of an industry that has been opened in widths for renewable energies because they can earn and wants to earn appropriate techniques."Fact is: the somewhat unsubstile, just mild successful bdi intervention is not only, but also in the interest of rwe. Executive board ulrich jobs anyway emphasized in front of the energy summit, he wool "thoughtfulness" put in the political debate. The conne the later once at a change of the atomic law. Why not play over gang – for example the gang named bdi?


Barbel hohn demands a moratorium for new coal-fired power plants in the current edition of the blatter for german and international politics. "Climate protection with eon, rwe co."It is only conceivable for appropriate political regulation. In particular, so hohn, the power question "in the electricity area are urgently made".

She knows what she writes: in its time as a nrw minister of the environment she could not stop the expansion of the neurath power plant, which she refers to the interview as "climaciller",. Especially since the species protection for field hamster stroked her mutated to the hit in the state election campaign 2005. Sozis, liberal and christian conservative grolten the song from the horror hamster, the meaningful investment prevent. Finally lovely hohn chill:

Approval procedures for the power plant location neurath is full in schedule.

Tenth accepting

Eurosolar boss hermann scheer pladges opposite telepolis for a "strict reorientation" of energy policy. It applies, resistance to overwind. Because the coarse four, so rwe, eon, vattenfall and enbw, wanted to hold on to their provider monopoly. Your infrastructure, your techniques and investments are aligned on fossil and nuclear power generation. Short:

They are prisoners of their energy sources and try as long as possible to continue as before.

This is contrary to the common good, which is to enforce politics. Actually. But politics take "too rough cheeks" on the coarse energy companies, says scheer, who has been sitting in the bundestag since 1981 and belonged to the federal board of his party. The cause is structural nature for him:

Whole economies are dependent on the energy industry, because without energy simply does not work.

Accordingly, roughness of the energy suppliers who have an interest "as the only part of the economy have an interest in slowing the way towards renewable energies in order to secure their record gains". The dominance ratio between the economy and politics, calls for scheer, musse will be reversed – by an energy transition, by changing to outlined renewable energies, not least through a municipal energy supply that the monopoly and thus the power of energy giants break. Whether his positions in social democracy are majority?

Coarse parts of the spd base rely on renewable energies. But this is not necessarily reflected in social democratic politics.


North rhine-westphalian, to a smaller part also rhineland-palatinate municipalities hold 31 percent of the shares in rwe ag. And control 32.9 percent of the votes. The oberburg masters of dortmund, essen and mulheim at the ruhr sit in the supervisory board of rwe ag. The municipalities could not positively influence the executive policy?

Theoretically. But first, more and more municipalities are forced to freeze their rwe silverware. And secondly, the suspension is to structural conservative, only in a short view of rational thinking roughly. A lot talks about this motto to pay homage that is: other never the basic strategy of a victorious team, if you benefit from it! Because the city and municipalities in the structural change in nrw have been notorious for years. Meanwhile, rwe expanded continues: both in terms of space – rwe is not only regional monopolist, but at the same time global player with european focus – as well as relative to the braided business fields, which now include in addition to the provision of gas, water and energy, the compliance and exploitation of coal, oil and natural gas deposits and the business with the power grid.

Of the billions of billions, the municipal chambers benefit also. They are looking forward to older returns and dividends that are often in the millions of millions. And there is the currently not insignificant workplace argument in nrw: rwe remains, despite massive job cuts, one of the most important employers and investors in the country.


"It’s amazing how many politicians and trade unionists land in the energy industry," says karsten smid of greenpeace. A statement that is "not to comment" according to volker heck.

But smid is right, even relative to rwe, how some striking examples occupy. The deputy chairman of the rwe holding has frank bsirske inne, his sign head of the service union.Di. The green member bsirske demanded – for many surprisingly – at the end of 2005 the jolt of nuclear phase-out. "Mr. Bsirske", the green youth wrote to the party friend then into the regular book, "her clientelic policy is disgusting!"

Werner muller, until 2002 party federal minister of economics on spd ticket, earned his breads from 1973 to 1980 at rwe ag, most recently as head of head. In 2000, he acted for the federal government the atomic compromise with the energy industry. In 2003, muller moved to a new job: he was chairman of the rag aktiengesellschaft, whose second grave shareholder rwe is called. For the fdp parliamentary group remained a taste. Finally, muller’s board was a company, for which he was as federal minister of economics "resort manager". Last but not least, the rag has benefited "most of the preached by the federal minister highly negotiated upgrade of the aid frame for the hard coal". The hard coal also plays a significant role in the "wide mix" of rwe power generation.

In 2004, the cdu-prasidium member hermann josef arentz, who approached a career as nrw minister, to influence all his officers. Arentz had a monthly salary of 5 years of his former company.Received 000 euros. In addition to his diet as a member of parliament. And without beneficable consideration. His ex-employer was rwe power ag.

It is now controlled by a supervisory board called wolfgang clement. The former nrw minister prosident and federal minister has acquired his appropriate qualification in long years. An example of many: on the hard coal 1999 (motto: "hard coal – the energy for today and tomorrow") he demanded that no energy carrying is preferred thire, "only because he seems to be particularly environmentally friendly". So, according to the then minister prosident, the prospects of domestic hard coal "are not bad if we act together".

Thirteenth accepting

Kleinvieh also makes pr-crap. Rwe awards "climate protection prices" in the westfalish province, for example on solar energy trivies in school age. Time will be at a reasonable time of construction of a "emission-free" coal power plant, sometimes programs for lower power consumption are confused – and for renewable energies, whose market so far – pfui! – is dominated by medium stands. Let the essen newspaper advice, "to draw attention to the innovative power of rwe" (volker heck). Sometimes a rwe daughter is worried about a problematic nuclear power plant of the competitor vattenfall. Let’s go out of your own drive, a rwe works council in the butt, where he loudly the "threat for our companies" through the "discrimination … Native lignite" lament. What causes the climate to all overflow.

Last ad

Mr. Heck, please describe your communication strategy! "We set a factual and open discussion in all topics; assistable facts and stringent arguments are still paying more than anything else in critical journalists."Your job in germany’s big carbon dioxide ier – is that actually a grateful task? "Union work for rwe is an exciting task that i would like to put myself every day again."