Germany: Garzweiler Coal Mine Fury Symbolizes European Governments’ Energy Puzzle | Climate News

Germany’s Garzweiler mine could hardly be more symbolic of the conundrum facing much of Europe at the moment.

A country partially ruled by the Green Party is demolish wind turbines to make way for more coal mining.

From an environmental point of view, this is obviously not good. Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.

But those responsible for Europe’s largest economy, for now, have had to sacrificing climate change policies to keep the lights on.

It comes as riot police backed by bulldozers removed dozens of activists from buildings in an abandoned village during a second day of clashes over the expansion of the Garzweiler mine.

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German police clash with anti-coal activists

Officers climbed ladders to reach protesters perched on rooftops and walls in Luetzerath, which energy company RWE wants to clear to expand its energy facility.

The problem is that the coal may be dirty but it is cheap and reliable and the infrastructure to extract it from the ground and bring it to power stations already exists and works perfectly well.

And in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s invasion Ukraine and the subsequent energy shock, particularly due to the availability of Russian gas, which Germany believes could be the difference between the status quo and blackouts.

This is also the reason why the country extended the lifetime of some of its nuclear power plantsdespite the promise to close them.

Germany is not alone.

Poland is developing its coal production and Bulgaria is extending the life of its coal mines.

The UK has does the same for a number of coal-fired power plants ensure security of supply this winter.

Read more:
German riot police begin evicting activists blocking coal mine expansion
Activists slam decision to appoint UAE oil chief chairman for climate talks

In fact, global coal consumption hit an all-time high in 2022.

The good news is that many people think it’s a blip.

The International Energy Agency says the global energy crisis will ultimately accelerate the transition to clean energy.

It predicts that fossil fuel emissions will peak by 2025 as coal use declines over the next few years and natural gas demand peaks by the end of the decade.

Germany, for its part, says it will still phase out coal by 2030, although that does not diminish the symbolism of what is happening in Garzweiler.


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