Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Greta Thunberg detained at German coal protest

(BBC News) Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has been detained by police at a protest outside a western German village.

She had been protesting with activists seeking to stop the abandoned village of Lützerath from being demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.

Police told the BBC Thunberg was not arrested and would be released after they checked her ID.

The Swedish activist was detained after a group “rushed towards the ledge” of the Garzweiler 2 mine, police said.

They also confirmed all of those detained in the group would be released without charge once their identities had been checked.

Video from the scene showed three officers carrying Thunberg from the protest as she smiles.

Police told Reuters news agency that one man jumped into the mine, which is located some 9 km from Lützerath.

Activists argue burning coal undermines Germany’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The government has pledged to bring forward the phase-out of coal in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state in which the mine lies, to 2030. The national target is 2038.

Lignite is the dirtiest form of coal, and the area around Lützerath yields 25 million tonnes of it each year.

The village, owned by energy company RWE after residents abandoned it, is expected to be the final one demolished for the lignite mine.

The energy company has said the coal under the village is needed as early as this winter.

Organizers of the protest said around 35,000 demonstrators attended on Saturday, while police said the number was closer to 15,000.

Police said they managed to remove all activists from the town over the weekend.



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