German energy company RWE will breach the law if it continues to press ahead with the clearing of the Hambach Forest in western Germany to expand its nearby lignite mine, environmental NGO Greenpeace says in a press release. According to a legal opinion commissioned by the NGO, RWE is only allowed to cut down trees in the forest if this is “unavoidable” for continuing operation. However, the company itself declared that this would not be the case before mid-December, Greenpeace argues. An assessment made by mining experts says that the forest could be left standing for at least another year before operation in the nearby Garzweiler mine is obstructed, Greenpeace adds. The NGO’s Karsten Smid says RWE “has intentionally lied to the coal commission” when it stated that stopping the forest’s clearing would threaten the continued operation of the company’s lignite mines.
Find the press release in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany’s coal commission insists no decision yet on exit date and the coal commission watch.