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30 Mar 2022, 14:07
Benjamin Wehrmann

Climate activists vow to resist demolition of town for German lignite mine expansion

dpa / Die Welt

Climate activists from student protest movement Fridays for Future (FfF) have said they will resist the planned expansion of a coal mine in western Germany that threatens the nearby town of Lützerath, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by newspaper Die Welt. Energy company RWE had received the green light from a court earlier this week to go ahead with its contentious mine expansion. “We call for defending Lützerath,“ FfF activists said at a protest near the Garzweiler lignite mine in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, announcing a major strike for 23 April. Destroying the village would deprive Germany of a chance to sticking to the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit [of the Paris Agreement], FfF’s Pauline Bünger said. Environmental group Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) said policymakers in the state had to find a new consensus on mine expansion. BUND’s local representative Dirk Jansen called for a moratorium on expansion that would at least “prevent the destruction of villages.”

The court in Münster said in its ruling that lignite mining was compatible with the constitutional requirement to protect the climate and that coal from Garzweiler could not be replaced “without great effort” – if at all. The German government and energy companies last year signed a legal agreement to end lignite-based power generation in the country by 2038 – a deadline Germany’s new government aims to "ideally" bring forward to 2030.

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