Climate protesters storm open-pit mine in western Germany

International

Numerous environmental activists block the tracks of the coal transport railway in Rommerskirchen, Germany, Saturday, June 22, 2019. The protests for more climate protection in the Rhineland continue. Many participants are expected for protests and actions at the Garzweiler opencast mine. Photo by: (Marcel Kusch/dpa via AP)

HOCHNEUKIRCH, Germany (AP) — Hundreds of environmental activists broke through a police cordon to enter one of Germany’s biggest lignite coal mines Saturday, determined to draw attention to the urgency of climate change after a plan to make the European Union carbon neutral by 2050 failed to find agreement.

Police ordered the activists to leave the vast, open-pit Garzweiler mine in western Germany, citing life-threatening dangers. German news agency dpa reported that some officers were hurt, but didn’t have any further details.

The occupation was among several demonstrations near the mine and adjacent power plants that attracted thousands of people to the village of Hochneukirch and surrounding Rhineland areas.

Earlier Saturday, dozens of protesters temporarily blocked railroad tracks used to transport coal. The vast majority of rallies and protests remained peaceful.

The mine has been a focus of environmental protests in recent years because the operator, German utility company RWE, planned to cut down a forest to enlarge it.

“It’s important to increase the pressure on the government,” protester Selma Schubert said. “The government doesn’t do enough against climate change.”

Participants in the Saturday protests held banners calling for climate protection and sang songs as they marched. According to German environmental group Bund, more than 8,000 people took part.

“You’re building a movement, that’s beautiful,” Seimi Rowin, who came from Scotland to protest, said. “But we need to get to the next step … otherwise future generations will pay for it.”

Following months of climate protests by students and a sharp rise in the polls for Germany’s Green party, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently threw her weight behind the goal of making Germany climate neutral by 2050. That would mean the country’s economy no longer would add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Scientists say ending fossil fuel use by mid-century is a must if countries want to achieve the 2015 Paris climate accord’s most ambitious goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times.

___

Grieshaber reported from Berlin.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

59°F Clear Feels like 59°
Wind
7 mph E
Humidity
74%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
60°F A few clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Last Quarter
Clear

Crowley

60°F Clear Feels like 60°
Wind
10 mph SE
Humidity
72%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mainly clear. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
60°F Mainly clear. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Last Quarter
Clear

Opelousas

57°F Clear Feels like 57°
Wind
9 mph SSE
Humidity
73%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Low 53F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
60°F Partly cloudy skies. Low 53F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Last Quarter
Clear

Breaux Bridge

60°F Clear Feels like 60°
Wind
5 mph ESE
Humidity
67%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few passing clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
60°F A few passing clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Last Quarter
Clear

New Iberia

59°F Clear Feels like 59°
Wind
12 mph SE
Humidity
83%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low 53F. Light southeast wind.
54°F Partly cloudy. Low 53F. Light southeast wind.
Wind
4 mph SE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Last Quarter

Sidebar

Trending Stories