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18 Nov 2020, 13:40
Sören Amelang

Villagers' attempt to save homes from coal mine expansion fails in court

Der Spiegel

Germany's Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint by villagers fearing resettlement due to the expansion of an open-cast lignite mine in the West of the country, reports der Spiegel. The court dismissed the complaint, arguing the plaintiffs should first have appealed in lower courts, and because their reasoning did not meet the requirements. The villagers' constitutional complaint filed in September challenged the legitimacy of the Garzweiler mine, which is owned by energy company RWE.

The mine was granted special treatment in Germany's coal exit legislation due to its purported necessity for power supply security in the region, a claim the villagers' alliance Menschenrecht vor Bergrecht ("Human Rights before Mining Rights") disputes. Germany's coal exit law has set the end date for coal-fired power production in Germany at no later than 2038. It has failed to receive the backing of many environmental groups, instead drawing heavy criticism for falling short of climate targets and granting coal companies too much compensation.  

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