'Our war against nature must end' Climate activist Greta Thunberg visits damaged German forest

Greta Thunberg visits the ancient Hambach Forest near the city of Kerpen in western Germany Credit: Oliver Berg/dpa via AP

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg has visited a German forest at risk of being destroyed by a nearby mine.

Hambach forest in western Germany is at the centre of an ongoing dispute, as activists claim utility giant RWE has damaged the area.

Experts proposed the end of coal by 2028 in Germany, which was approved by the government, in a move designed to save the forest.

Miss Thunberg stands in front of the open-cast lignite pit during a visit the ancient Hambach Forest Credit: Oliver Berg/dpa via AP

However activists say RWE is endangering what is left of the forest by pumping out groundwater.

Miss Thunberg met with environmental protesters at the site on Saturday and said that “our war against nature must end today”.

The 16-year-old said seeing the mine disturbed her deeply.

Miss Thunberg said she had been ‘disturbed’ by what she had seen in the forest Credit: Oliver Berg/AP

In March, she dedicated an award received from the German media to those "protecting the Hambach Forest and the climate activists who fight to keep the fossil fuels in the ground everywhere”.

The unseasonably dry and warm weather has also left swathes of dead and dying trees across Germany.

Officials say droughts, wildfires and hungry beetles destroyed 270,000 acres of forest in Germany in 2018, and the damage this year could be even worse.