The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Germany: Climate Activists End Coal Blockade in Garzweiler
Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.
However, some protesters were still blocking nearby train tracks that usually serve as a coal transport route from one of Germany's biggest open-pit mines, near the cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne.
Spokeswoman Kathrin Henneberger confirmed the protesters had now left the mine.
"In the morning, there was a brief escalation with the police. Officers encircled a group, although all participants intended to clear the area around 10 a.m. as agreed and announced," Henneberger told Germany's dpa news agency.
Activists Stormed the Mine
Around 1,000 activists from the Ende Gelände (End of the Line) group marched to the huge mine on Saturday, before breaking through a police line and storming the pit.
Wearing white overalls, the protesters could be seen on videos published online, hooting and clapping as police ordered them to stay put.
Protesters and police accused each other of combative behavior in the mine, causing injuries. Police said eight officers were hurt in scuffles with protesters.
Police deployed pepper spray and eventually pulled some protesters from the site, citing safety concerns.
Weekend of Rallies
Ende Gelände describes itself as a civil disobedience protest movement to limit global warming.
Although the Ende Gelände protest grabbed most of the headlines, it was a small part of a much larger rally on Saturday from the town of Keyenberg along the edge of the mine.
The 8,000-strong protest included students from the Fridays for Future rallies against climate change, a youth movement started last year by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.
That, too, was dwarfed by the estimated 40,000 attendees from across Europe that came to the nearby city of Aachen on Friday to campaign for more action on climate change.
Garzweiler and the nearby mine at Hambach have been the focus of many protests in recent years because of plans to cut down an old-growth forest to enlarge both mines.
Months of climate protests by students, and a sharp rise in the polls for Germany's Green party, has prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to throw her weight behind the goal of making Germany climate neutral by 2050.
That would mean Europe's largest economy would no longer add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
However, European Union leaders failed this week to agree on how to make the whole bloc carbon neutral by 2050.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court Justice who wrote the opinion granting environmental agencies the power to regulate greenhouse gases, died Tuesday at the age of 99. His decision gave the U.S. government important legal tools for fighting the climate crisis.
By Elliott Negin
On July 8, President Trump hosted a White House event to unabashedly tout his truly abysmal environmental record. The following day, coincidentally, marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as acting administrator and then as administrator after the Senate confirmed him in late February.
By Tara Lohan
If you're a lover of wilderness, wildlife, the American West and the public lands on which they all depend, then journalist Christopher Ketcham's new book is required — if depressing — reading.
World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year after decades of decline, a new United Nations (UN) report says. The climate crisis ranks alongside conflict as the top cause of food shortages that force more than 821 million people worldwide to experience chronic hunger. That number includes more than 150 million children whose growth is stunted due to a lack of food.
By Adrienne L. Hollis
Because extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather hazards we currently face, Union of Concerned Scientist's Killer Heat Report for the U.S. is the most important document I have read. It is a veritable wake up call for all of us. It is timely, eye-opening, transparent and factual and it deals with the stark reality of our future if we do not make changes quickly (think yesterday). It is important to ensure that we all understand it. Here are 10 terms that really help drive home the messages in the heat report and help us understand the ramifications of inaction.
Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senate Republican who has been a close ally of Donald Trump, did not mince words last week on the climate crisis and what he thinks the president needs to do about it.