Press release on 31.07.2021 at 4:30 pm

++ Shut down of the Kiel Canal ++ Ende Gelände blocks one of the world’s most important waterways with canoes ++

Brunsbüttel, 31.07.2021

Since 4:30 pm, Ende Gelände has been blocking the Kiel Canal. With canoes, a group of activists managed to bring traffic on one of the most important waterways in the world to a standstill. The ports on the Kiel Canal are important transhipment points for oil. Almost a third of the goods transported between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are products or raw materials from the fossil and chemical industries. The fracking gas terminal planned for Brunsbüttel would significantly increase this share. According to the activists, the action is intended to underline the connection between the fossil industry in Germany and the mining areas in the global south, which are connected by sea routes.

Esteban Servat, climate activist from Argentina, comments from one of the kayaks:

“In Germany, fossil gas is being pushed as a bridging technology. In Argentina, the country I come from, it is paid for in blood. People in my country and many others are dying due to pollution from fracking, children in the Argentine fracking area Vaca Muerta are three times more likely to die of leukemia. The destruction and contamination of entire regions through the extraction of fracked gas is carried out by the same international corporations that import it to Europe as liquefied gas and want to sell it here as a clean solution to the climate crisis. We say: clean gas is a dirty lie. Climate colonialism must end. With our kayaks today, we are cutting an important neocolonial trade route.”

The activists emphasize that gas extraction, espacially through fracking, not only causes tremendous harm to local communities and ecosystems in the extraction areas, but also is accelerating the climate crisis. Research shows, that the gas industry is causing large amounts of methane leakage, a greenhouse gas 87 times stronger than CO2 on the climate. Ende Gelände is convinced, that investing in more gas infrastructure would lead to what is known as a gas lock-in: To be cost-efficient, new construction would have to be used for decades, thereby delaying investment in renewables.

“Fossil gas is an accelerant to the climate crisis. We are drawing the red line here today on new fossil gas infrastructure. No fracked gas terminal in Brunsbüttel or anywhere else,” underlines Joli Schröter, Spokeperson from Ende Gelände.

The activists drew inspiration for their action from kayak actions in other parts of the world by affected indigenous communities who often use kayaks in protests. The activists intend to continue their blockade as long as possible.

The action is part of global action days against fracking, initiated by an international coalition of climate activists called Shale Must Fall.” The coalition argues that while Germany and many other western European countries present themselves as climate champions and do not allow fracking in their own territories, major European based oil and gas companies are fracking in other countries with less strict regulations: Wintershall DEA (Germany), Shell (Netherlands), Total (France), BP (UK), Equinor (Norway), Repsol (Spain), Eni (Italy). Germany is subsidizing the construction of the new LNG terminal to import climate-killing fracked gas from extraction sites in other areas of the world, including indigenous territories in North and South America.

Contact information

Finn Blauer: +49 4915145158065 (Spokesperson of the action group)

Ronja Weil: +49 163 681 17 76 (Spokesperson of Ende Gelände, only English)

Joli Schröter: +49 151 413 745 27 (Spokesperson of Ende Gelände, only German)

Elia Nejem: +49 177 967 68 05 (Spokesperson of Ende Gelände, only German)

Follow us on Twitter

Twitter: @Ende__Gelaende | @ShaleMustFall