Greta Thunberg joins protests against expansion of German coal mine

The Swedish activists also gave a speech to demonstrators. Credit: Twitter/@GretaThunberg

German police continued the clearance of a village that is due to be demolished to accommodate the expansion of a coal mine, with activists still holed up in one building, in tree houses and a tunnel..

Ahead of a demonstration to be held nearby on Saturday, Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg visited the tiny village of Luetzerath and took a look at the neighbouring Garzweiler open coal mine.

Joined by others, she held up a placard demanding: “Keep it in the ground.”

Luetzerath has become a flashpoint of debate over Germany’s climate efforts.

Police started clearing the last occupied building on Friday, and police said that some other activists would then have to be taken down from tree houses, German news agency dpa reported.

Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the Garzweiler mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The government and utility company RWE argue the coal is needed to ensure Germany’s energy security.

The regional and national governments, both of which include the environmentalist Green party, reached a deal with RWE last year allowing it to destroy the abandoned village in return for ending coal use by 2030, rather than 2038.

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