Germany has fired up a spanking new coal plant only a few short months after pledging to phase out coal production by 2038, an act of hypocritical double-think that has been roundly condemned by domestic and international climate activists.
“Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany’s Ruhr region to protest against its opening,” writes Deutsche Welle. The protest included representatives from Fridays for Future, Greenpeace, and German groups Ende Gelände and BUND (the German Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation).
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Launching the plant during a planned coal phaseout is a “provocation,” said Luisa Neubauer, an activist with the German branch of Fridays for Future, in a speech at the protest. “It’s a post-factual power plant. The facts speak for themselves,” she added.
Also at the protest was a group of former miners, who also spoke out. “Coal mining in Germany was halted and jobs were lost, only for coal now to be imported from other countries to power Datteln 4,” Sebastian Suszka told Germany’s national broadcaster.
It was only in January that Germany announced “a roadmap to see coal phased out, at the latest by 2038,” writes DW. Including “plans for eight coal-fired power plants to be taken off the grid in 2020,” the roadmap was “an important step for the largest contributor of carbon emissions in the EU—accounting for over 22% of the bloc’s CO2 emissions.”
Moving backward from that announcement marks “a shameful day for Europe,” declared Fridays for Future founder Greta Thunberg. “We have signed up to lead the way to avoid a climate disaster,” she tweeted, “and yet this the signal we send to the rest of the world?”
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