Coal mine protests in Germany and Poland highlight phase-out challenges
(Clean Energy Wire, 31 Aug 2020) More than one thousand climate protesters, including activists from the Fridays for Future movement, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion, occupied the site of a planned opencast coal mine in western Germany on Sunday, leading to scuffles with security guards.
Zeit Online reports that protesters climbed on to a coal excavator at the RWE-owned site in the Garzweiler coal region, where five villages are earmarked for demolition to make way for the new brown coalmine. The plans are part of the controversial coal compromise reached between the German government and utilities, which will see coal phased out by 2038 at the latest.
Meanwhile, another protest was to take place at an open-cast mine in Turów, Poland, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The PGE-owned site, located at the meeting point of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, was granted a six-year extension by the government in May. But the decision was deemed illegal by politicians such as German members of the European Parliament Anna Cavazzini, because no environmental impact assessments were carried out