Under the motto “No profits from hardship: Socialize Wintershall!” demonstrated on Saturday, the 29.10.2022, about a hundred people in front of the Kasseler Öl headquarters- and gas group Wintershall Dea for redistribution of excess profits and for climate justice.
The group had attended the rally Climate Justice Kassel (KligK) called, which has been an integral part of climate policy debates and activities in Kassel for years. The protest was directed against the Kassel-based conglomerate Wintershall Dea, which in 13 countries around the world produces natural gas and oil.
In the weeks leading up to the rally, flyers landed in many mailboxes in Kassel, where the citizens of Kassel were promised €7,500 gas money per capita as a redistribution of Wintershall Dea’s excess profits. As part of a “fall events” citizens were also invited, Collect applications for the energy money. This money should help citizens, the rising energy- and cushion food prices, so the text on the flyer. In addition, the flyer promised, that the company socially- and would exit the gas business in an environmentally friendly manner.
Wintershall then went public and titled the flyers as “Fake”. The group denied any responsibility and asked for it, no applications to submit.
Kligk took this as an opportunity, to draw attention to the prevailing abuses within the framework of a rally:
Wintershall Dea is further fueling the climate crisis by producing and selling natural gas, since natural gas consists of methane, which is 84 times more harmful to the climate than CO2. In addition, Wintershall Dea is also responsible for environmental destruction and human rights violations in countries of the Global South. For example, the group operates fracking in Argentina, which accompanies the displacement of indigenous communities from their lands.
In addition, Wintershall Dea has been criticized for its numerous deals with Gazprom and Russia, that of the group continues to operate despite the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Wintershall Dea continues to produce almost half of the oil and gas in Russia.
KligK also criticizes, that the Group due to the sharp rise in energy prices of the immense environmental- and climate-damaging natural gas was able to increase its profits enormously.
“Last year, Wintershall still had billions in debt – not only could they repay them, but now have additional 1,8 Mrd. accumulated euros”Climate Justice Kassel
These profits come largely from the wallets of the citizens. The high prices are a particular burden for people with lower incomes, many of whom are now afraid, to turn on the heating in winter.
In addition to an immediate stop to the expansion of the gas infrastructure and a reduction in gas consumption in climate-damaging industry, KligK is demanding an excess profit tax in favor of the people, and the merger of Wintershall Dea. Through democratic control, social and ecological goals could be set for the company outside of the logic of profit, so KligK
This includes stopping new fossil projects, in the medium term, a phasing out of the use of natural gas, particularly in industry, and a redistribution of profits from climate-damaging practices. The redistribution should be in favor of the countries of the Global South, by canceling their debts and paying compensation for the consequences of predatory capitalism.
KligK had applications for the €7,500 gas promised in the flyer for the rally- Money prepared for the citizens of Kassel. Unfortunately, these could not be thrown in on site: Wintershall Dea had dismantled its mailbox in advance. KligK encouraged nonetheless, Complete applications for gas money and send them to Wintershall by post. KligK also called for this, also to take action against Wintershall Dea.
In view of the rising energy prices, points of contact were also pointed out, support the people in need, and who you can contact in times of the energy price crisis. From Caritas to Left Social Counseling to Workers' Welfare, there are numerous counseling services. In addition, KligK called on citizens with a secure income to do so, to donate their energy money to a solidarity pot via the sanctionsfrei.de/energie initiative and thus redistribute it directly.