Bild: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa
Good idea, but that's all.

The deforestation of the Hambach Forest has been stopped for the time being (bento). To prevent RWE from continuing lignite mining at some point, the operators of the environmentally friendly Ecosia search engine are now submitting an offer.

Who is Ecosia and what kind of offer is it?

According to Ecosia, the search engine has eight million users. Compared to other search engines, Ecosia says it uses the revenue of advertisers to plant trees.

In addition, the profits are used to build up reserves. Génica Schäfgen of Ecosia informed the news agency dpa that the Hambach Forest should be bought from these reserves if RWE agrees.

„We believe that a fair balance of interests between RWE and the population can be found in this way and, by purchasing the land, we commit ourselves to pursuing ecological and social interests together with organisations that have worked to protect the forest and are dedicated to nature conservation.“
Christian Kroll, Ecosia

Ecosia's offer for the remaining 200 hectares of forest is one million euros.

Is the offer fair?

From the public purchase offer, Ecosia managing director Christian Kroll refers to the composition of the purchase price. This would result from 

  • the purchase price at that time, which today would be equivalent to about 500,000 €,
  • an annual interest rate from the time of purchase until today and...
  • ...a "generous rounding up of the calculated amount".

The offer is valid until 31 October 2018. 

RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz called the rescue of the Hambach Forest at the end of September an "illusion" (bento). If RWE had to forego deforestation, this would mean a loss of four to five billion euros for the company.

Ecosia's offer would therefore hardly arouse RWE's interest.


  • The Hambach Forest in North Rhine-Westphalia is no longer just a forest. For many people, it has become a symbol of resistance to the climate-damaging generation of electricity from coal.
  • Environmentalists had criticized that the Hambach forest is not a protected area, although there are trees there that are older than 300 years. There would also be a rare species of bat and other strictly protected species. For this reason, activists have been occupying parts of the forest for about five years to prevent deforestation. (bento)
  • RWE began clearing the remaining part of the Hambach forest in September.
  • A court has now decided at the beginning of October to temporarily stop the clearing. The verdict thus corresponded to the urgent application of the German Federal Environment and Nature Conservation Agency. (bento)


C&A apologises for Nazi-look sweaters
That sweater might not have been a good idea.

"Division" is written on the children's sweater from C&A. The black font has a white border. The font: Fraktur. Sweaters like these were sold by the fashion chain C&A. The problem: The sweaters are reminiscent of Nazi fashion. "Division Germania" is a right-wing rock band; at Nazi concerts, many men with bald heads appear in Division shirts. (taz)

C&A has now also noticed this, taken the sweaters out of the range and apologized. A C&A spokesman is quoted in "Waz" and "taz" that the company had made a "regrettable mistake".

How did this happen?

At first, a Twitter user had pointed out the similarity. Her accusation: Did C&A consciously take inspiration from a neo-Nazi label?