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German Energy secretary supports RWE forest clearance

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Following weeks of resistance, German authorities have removed the last of protesters and their specially-built treehouses from the ancient Hambach forest near Cologne (Germany), which is owned by RWE, ready for the electric utilities company’s controversial plans to expand their nearby opencast coal mine.

Dozens of treehouses had been built and occupied by environmental campaigners for years.

Numerous environmental group are not happy with these expansion plans, which have come at a time when a government-approved commission are debating a timeframe for when Germany will phase out coal.

German Enegy Secretary, Thomas Bareiß said: RWE have a “right to do this”.

He added that it was a necessary step to keep Germany’s lights on. He said: “We still need lignite… for our reliable coal supply”.

According to one source, Germany sources nearly 40% of its power from coal.

Now protesters are gone, the company aims to secure the area by digging out a 3.3 ft – 5 ft trench along part of the border to secure the area, which contains numerous ‘keep out’ signs.

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