RWE CEO Rolf Schmitz:”Investor pressure is growing

Rolf Martin Schmitz

The energy company RWE wants to start clearing a hundred hectares of forest in the Hambach Forest in October in order to mine coal there. But criticism is growing in the run-up – not only from environmental activists, but also from investors who across a broad front are demanding a quicker departure of the group from the coal business. Winfried Mathes, corporate governance expert at Deka, now told WirtschaftsWoche – “especially in view of the current climate debate and the rising CO2 price“.

Hambach Forest: Showdown in October

According to WirtschaftsWoche, representatives of Blackrock (“Kohle ist tot”), Hermes EOS and the investment company Columbia Threadneedle expressed similar criticism. Despite growing scepticism on the part of its own shareholders – Blackrock holds a five percent stake in RWE – RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz is holding on to coal and the clearing plans in the Hambach forest for the time being. “The law is on our side,” he says and also points to impending supply gaps in the event of a hasty coal withdrawal. Nevertheless, there are many indications that the pressure on Schmitz will increase when it starts in October – also from the shareholders’ camp.