German utility giant RWE is Europe’s largest CO2 emitter and HSBC supports its activities by providing direct loans and underwriting the company’s bonds. RWE’s installed coal capacity is almost double the entire UK’s coal plant fleet, it is also the world’s biggest lignite miner. RWE is notorious for its plans to clear-cut the 12,000-year-old Hambach forest for the expansion of a lignite mine. After years of protest, RWE has “given in” and decided to just tear down the villages surrounding the forest. This battleground in Western Germany has become a symbol for the insanity of Germany’s continued lignite exploitation.

Find out more in our Coal Report page 37: