Ecosia, the world’s largest not-for-profit search engine, is currently trying to save the last remaining stretch of the Hambach Forest from being cut down by energy company RWE. RWE is planning to log the forest to mine for lignite, expanding Germany’s largest open face coal mine.
In early October, Ecosia stepped in with an unsolicited offer of €1 Million to buy the forest from RWE. After RWE declined the initial offer, Ecosia is now asking like-minded organisations and companies to join the cause and help raise the sum for a second offer.
Ecosia, a Berlin based startup, has used the advertising revenue generated from its search engine to plant more than 40 million trees in 19 biodiversity hotspots globally. Ecosia’s CEO Christian Kroll hopes the Hambach Forest can be turned into a nature reserve to keep it accessible to the public and preserve it for future generations:
RWE is currently Europe’s largest CO2 emitter and number 41 of the 100 organisations responsible for 71% of the world’s CO emissions. The Hambach Forest, located in West Germany, is 12,000 years old and home to 13 endangered species. A regional court temporarily halted RWE’s plans to cut down the Hambach Forest to determine whether the endangered species living in the unique biotype justified preserving the forest. In the meantime, the forest’s fate hangs in the balance:
On Sept 29th, 2018, 50,000 people demonstrated at the Hambach Forest and RWE’s coal mine calling for Germany, the world’s largest producer of lignite, to speed up its coal exit plan. Ecosia’s German Country Manager, Génica Schäfgen said the Hambach Forest did not need to be cut down to secure Germany’s energy supply.
Kroll said the company would do everything in their power to preserve the Hambach Forest and to fight for an immediate transition away from coal: