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Eco campaigners block lignite-fired German power plant

WT24 Desk

BERLIN – Around 2,000 environmental activists protesting the use of fossil fuels blockaded a power plant that burns brown coal in eastern Germany Saturday,organisers said, a day after a similar protest at a coal mine,AFP reports.

The activists, who arrived by bike, bus and on foot, surrounded the entrance to the Schwarze Pumpe plant in Spremberg near the Polish border and also blocked a railway track leading to the site, according to a spokeswoman for the plant.

On Friday, protesters wearing white overalls and equipped with face masks, blocked access to an open cast coal mine in nearby Proschim.

In Proschim, the group unfurled banners on the ground and on the excavation machines that read “Keep it in the ground” and “Climate crime scene”.

The protests are part of the “Break Free” campaign launched by Greenpeace and other environmentalist groups in countries including the US, Canada and Brazil to oppose the use of fossil fuels.

The campaign, which began earlier this month, ends this weekend in Germany. Proschim mine is operated by Swedish state-owned energy giant Vattenfall and produces 20 million tonnes of lignite, or brown coal, every year.

Vattenfall also owns the Schwarze Pumpe plant. The group said in April it had reached a deal to sell its German coal operations to a Czech company, as it moves away from activities blamed for climate change.

Germany, which plans to close all its nuclear power plants by 2022, still gets 42 percent of its electricity from burning coal.
Calls for the closure of the coal plants have foundered on concerns for jobs in the sector.

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