News Digest Item
31 Aug 2018

NRW state premier Laschet will not mediate Hambach coal mine talks

Rheinische Post

Armin Laschet, premier of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s largest federal state, is not willing to act as a mediator in the negotiations between environmental activists and the energy company RWE over the clearing of a forest near the Hambach lignite mine, the Rheinische Post reports. The conservative (CDU) state premier said that RWE had the right to decide when to start cutting down trees to make room for its nearby open pit coal mine, the largest in Germany. He stressed that the former left-green (SPD and Green Party) government had issued the license for mine expansion and that neither NRW’s parliament nor the government currently questioned the status quo. He also rejected proposals for a moratorium until the end of the German coal exit commission’s work, scheduled for December. NRW police union (GdP) leader Michael Mertens told the newspaper that the conflict surrounding the Hambach Forest could escalate once clearing work begins, estimating that up to 1,000 policemen per day will be needed to shield forest workers from protesters.

Read the article in German here

See the CLEW article Logging row continues to weigh on coal commission’s work for background and CLEW’S Commission watch for constant updates on the body’s work.

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