German villagers want top court to save homes from coal mine

September 9, 2020 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — Villagers living on the edge of a vast German coal mine said Wednesday they have lodged a case with Germany’s top court in a bid to save their homes.

The villagers say that a law intended to phase out the country’s use of coal over the next 18 years will nevertheless result in the destruction of communities to make way for the Garzweiler lignite mine.

The law was agreed to as part of a 54 billion euro ($64 billion) package of measures to reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.


The group Human Rights before Mining Rights says it hopes Germany’s Constitutional Court will stop the destruction of the villages by overturning a provision in the law that deems coal extradition to be in the public interest.

Environmentalists say Germany’s deadline for phasing out the burning of coal, one of the most polluting fossil fuels, should happen sooner than 2038.


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