Luisa Neubauer is in a dead end in Lützerath

Kjust behind Lützerath the former country road abruptly becomes a dead end. Behind it is a huge pit. For far too long, the Garzweiler opencast mine has been eating its way through the landscape, devouring places and robbing people of their homes. The hamlet of Lützerath is also sacrificed. Since the evacuation began on Wednesday with a large police presence, the demolition work has progressed faster than many assumed.

Lützerath is said to be the last place to disappear. 2030, eight years earlier than previously agreed, will end coal-fired power generation in the Rhenish mining area. Five villages threatened with demolition are now being preserved, and 280 million tons of lignite are no longer being mined. Robert Habeck and Mona Neubaur, the Greens responsible for the departments of economy and climate protection in Düsseldorf and Berlin, negotiated all this with the energy company RWE.

One would think that the two would be celebrated by their party for it. But above all the green youth As in the past, it is currently only dealing with its worst “fossil” enemy images.

At the forefront of the climate rebels Luisa Neubauer, the German face of Fridays for Future. The campaigning student played a key role in stylizing Lützi, against all political and scientific reason, as a symbol for the climate movement. Neubauer made regular pilgrimages to Lützerath. On Thursday, she was carried away by the police in a media-effective manner. What you do for your street credibility.

It is the typical Green, quasi-religious struggle

Alone that the two green economics ministers with the “climate killer group” RWE have even admitted is for the climate rebels already a “fall from grace”. The choice of words makes it clear that it is once again a quasi-religious struggle typical of the Greens. Except that this time it will be fought within the party because the Greens – what a punchline – have themselves become victims of their eco-populism, which has always been cultivated. Perhaps Lützerath will be remembered less as a symbol of the climate movement and more as the cipher of a green rift.

Luisa Neubauer, the German face of Fridays for Future, poses for a photo in Lützerath.

Luisa Neubauer, the German face of Fridays for Future, poses for a photo in Lützerath.

Image: Reuters

It is still difficult to foresee what injuries and devastation will remain in this conflict between climate fundis and energy transition realos, whether there will even be an eco-left split. At the moment it seems doubtful that such a party would get many votes. A new quality would perhaps be achieved if the charismatic Luisa Neubauer left the Greens.

How fiercely the struggles are going on in the party could be seen in great detail at their federal party conference in Bonn in October. The party youth almost succeeded in overturning the RWE deal. Hardly a dozen votes were missing, the legend of Lützerath had already become so independent back then. With it you can simplify and shorten so wonderfully. Neubauer used the Lützi projection in Bonn for a flaming reckoning with the “ecological hyperrealism” of the government Greens, who in times of the Ukraine war and the energy crisis are building liquid gas terminals at lightning speed or restarting closed coal-fired power plants. “The big picture is manifested in Lützerath,” preached Neubauer. The place stands for the breach of the Paris climate agreement.

Causa Lützerath has been legally fought through

It is the central belief of the climate activists: The “red line” runs right in front of Lützerath, which decides whether Germany can keep the promise of 1.5 degrees. This is superstition. Because the agreement theoretically results in a CO2-Budget for the whole world. National budgets do not exist. In addition, German climate protection policy is integrated into that of the European Union. Their most important instrument is trading with limited emissions. If one company emits less, others can emit more. Under these conditions, it is irrelevant for the world climate whether the coal is still being burned under Lützerath or not.

Luisa Neubauer has led the so important bourgeois part of the climate youth movement with the Lützi myth into a dead end. She and her fellow campaigners denounce as “diabolical” a considerable compromise that was sealed by a large majority of the Bundestag in December with the amended coal phase-out law. The Lützerath cause has also been completely fought through from a legal point of view. Of course, the climate emergency generation does not accept that either.

It is therefore no exaggeration to state that the rule of law is also being defended with the Lützerath eviction. It’s a good thing that it’s not green ethics like Luisa Neubauer who have responsibility in the state and federal government, but responsibility ethics like Robert Habeck and Mona Neubaur.

Activists and police officers face each other during the evacuation of Lützerath on January 11, 2023.

Activists and police officers face each other during the evacuation of Lützerath on January 11, 2023.

Image: Frank Röth

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