Note: Germany’s Rhineland coalfields will become the centre point of the international fight against dirty energy this weekend, as over a thousand protesters from across 45 countries come together to stop the world’s largest coal diggers in their tracks. The science is clear: to keep global warming below 2DegC at least 80 per cent of known fossil fuels must remain underground. For Europe, that means 89 per cent of its coal reserves. Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions, the Rhineland coalfields have no place in a carbon-constrained world. Despite leading the G7’s historic call for an end to fossil fuels and calling for a far-reaching deal in Paris this December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has continued to give concessions to the Germany’s coal industry – scrapping the country’s ambitious ‘coal levy’ plans last month and leaving the country at risk of falling short of its emissions targets and at odds with EU energy rules. This weekend, the spotlight is back on the German government to walk the talk at home and abroad as governments around the world face a choice: follow their citizens’ lead, or end up on the wrong side of history.
BERLIN (AP) — Environmental activists have stormed a lignite mine in western Germany to protest the use of coal, a major source of greenhouse gases.
The German news agency dpa reports that several hundred people from a group calling itself EndeGelaende — which loosely translates as “it’s finished now” — broke through a police line in Garzweiler, west of Cologne.
Police spokesman Anton Hamacher says officers used pepper spray to stop the crowd and are removing protesters from the site.
A spokesman for German energy company RWE says several huge bucket-wheel excavators used at the open-pit mine had to be shut down for safety reasons. Spokesman Lothar Lambertzsays RWE has canceled plans to bring employees onto the site to rally in favor of coal mining.