In both Germany and the United States, coal is an integral part of our heritage and history. From the Ruhr Valley to Appalachia, coal was synonymous with economic growth and jobs. Nevertheless, in recent years, automatization and competition from more profitable energy sources has put many hardworking people out of work.
Last November, we partnered with the Rockefeller Family Fund to bring US community leaders to Germany for a week-long tour of former coal regions. On the tour, we explored ways in which coal communities can adapt to changing markets, and reinvent themselves for a sustainable future.