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German police arrest Hambach Forest activists

Author: Deutsche Welle, Published on: 16 September 2018

German police on Saturday arrested 30 environmentalists protesting plans to destroy Hambach Forest in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

An Aachen police spokesperson said dozens of people were ordered to leave the area as an operation to clear out protesters entered its fourth day on Sunday...

The area is owned by German energy company RWE. The company wants to clear the forest to mine brown coal, which it says is necessary to guarantee fuel for coal-powered energy plants.

The occupation of Hambach Forest "jeopardizes supplies to nearby power plants and refining plants," RWE said in a statement. "Around 15 percent of North Rhine-Westphalia's electricity requirements are covered by coal supplies from the Hambach opencast mine." [...]

But environmentalists have argued that Germany should be heading in the opposite direction and winding down consumption of coal.

Those who had occupied parts of the forest have noted that the woods are home to centuries-old trees and host a protected species of bats. The forest is said to be 12,000 years old...

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