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German court temporarily blocks RWE from razing forest - Report

Coal News - Published on Wed, 10 Oct 2018

Image Source: Yahoo
AFP reported that a German court temporarily blocked energy giant RWE from razing part of an ancient forest to make way for a giant open-pit mine, in a rare victory for anti-coal campaigners. The Hambach forest near Cologne has been occupied by activists for the past six years, but its fate had appeared sealed after authorities last month ordered police to dismantle their treehouses in a forced eviction that made headlines at home and abroad. "This is a good day for nature and climate protection and a milestone for the anti-coal movement," Greenpeace's Martin Kaiser told a press conference.

In an emergency ruling, judges at the higher administrative court in Muenster said they needed more time to consider the complaint brought by environmental group BUND. The plaintiffs are arguing that Hambach forest, located in the industrial heartland of North Rhine- Westphalia state, is home to rare species like Bechstein's bat and therefore qualifies as a protected area under EU law.

Judges said RWE did not have the right to create an "irreversible" situation on the ground before they had ruled on the "complex" case.

RWE, which owns the forest, had planned to begin clearing half of the woodland's remaining 200 hectares (500 acres) from October 15.

The company said that the expansion of its massive lignite mine is necessary to ensure the energy supply of nearby coal-fired power plants -- which are among the most polluting in the European Union.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 10 Oct 2018
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