German opencast mining makes Greta Thunberg sad

Environmentalists want to preserve the Hambach forest, and now they have received prominent support: Climate activist Greta Thunberg surprisingly visited the Rhenish lignite mining area.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg visited the lignite mine Hambach in the Rheinische Revier on Saturday. Then the 16-year-old described how difficult the sight was to her: “It was so huge, so devastating and it makes me sad somehow.” Lignite contributes to the ecological crisis. In order to achieve the climate goals, Germany should not burn any more coal, she said, referring to scientists. She also feels with the people who would have to move because of the open pit mine.

Together with the Action Alliance End of Terrain she called on the people on 20 and 27 September to participate in the planned global climate strike. “Time is running out and the rulers continue to disappoint us,” said Thunberg.

On the way to New York

Thunberg is expected to set off from a port in the south of England on a yacht for the UN climate summit in New York next Wednesday. She alone will not be able to change the climate situation, said the 16-year-old, but she could contribute there by their participation in an awareness of the crisis. “And if enough people push, then we can try to bring about a change.”

The Rheinische Revier is considered to be one of the major sources of climate-damaging CO2 in Europe with three ongoing lignite mines. The fight for the Hambacher Forst, which is to be cleared for the progressing opencast mining, stands symbolically for the demand for a quick Kohlaususstieg in Germany.

Over the past few years, the campaign alliance Off-Road has repeatedly demonstrated with blockades of opencast mines, excavators and transport lanes for an immediate coalition exit. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution describes the campaign as having a left-wing extremist influence.