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Activists clash with police in Germany over occupation of ancient forest

Author: Judith Vonberg and Nadine Schmidt, CNN, Published on: 13 September 2018

Activists in a forest in western Germany are resisting attempts by police to remove tree houses that environmentalists have occupied for years and to make way for mining company RWE to raze further sections of the forest. RWE runs an open-pit coal mine near the Hambach Forest in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia... The escalation follows a standoff lasting several years as campaigners have sought to prevent RWE, Germany's biggest electricity provider, razing further sections of the forest. In a meeting Monday, RWE and environmental groups failed to reach an agreement that would break the standoff. RWE argues that the next phase of clearing must begin within the next three months if the work is to be completed on time. "This year's clearing measures are necessary to maintain opencast mining operations and coal extraction over the next two years," RWE said in a statement, adding that the company has compensated for its logging activities by planting more than 10 million trees in the Rhineland mining district... While Germany has invested billions in renewable energy and hoped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020, the country remains dependent on coal.

 

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