Protests over new opencast coal project
Earlier this week 7,500 people from 27 countries formed an 8-kilometre human chain across the German-Polish border to protest against a proposed opencast coal mining project.
Campaigners complain that the mine would lead to the destruction of villages in both countries and further increase reliance on fossil fuels linked to pollution and climate change.
The line of protesters was formed between the villages of Kerkwitz in Germany, and Grabice in Poland on Saturday. Residents of the two communities, home to some 3,000 people, fear they could be resettled to make way for more brown coal mines as a result of investments by a group of energy companies, including Polish giant PGE and the Swedish energy corporation Vattenfall.
Joerg Haas, one of the organisers of the protest, told Russia Today “Coal is the form of energy generation which is very environmentally damaging. The burning of coal is destabilizing the climate, which causes a lot of human suffering. The burning of coal also poisons the air with mercury and particles. Most importantly, lignite mining is destroying entire villages, forests and a lot of land. In Germany, we’re moving towards a system based on clean renewable energies, and this is entirely possible.”
Renewable energies now constitute over 23 percent of Germany’s energy mix. However the new project would see the construction of a new coal-fired power plant on the Polish side of the border.
For more on energy, including guides to green electricity tariffs and gas suppliers, read our special report on the energy industry >
This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.
Ethical Consumer on Google+