The Garzweiler mine in Germany is a symbol of the current conundrum facing Europe.
A country that is partially run by the Green Party is . It’s tearing down wind turbines in order to make room for more coal mining .
This is a very bad thing for the environment. The dirtiest fossil fuel is coal.
However, the people in charge of Europe’s largest economy have had to abandon climate change policies to keep the lights on.
This comes after riot police, backed by bulldozers, removed scores of activists from buildings within an abandoned village during a second-day of confrontations over Garzweiler’s expansion.
Officers scaled ladders to reach protesters perched high on Luetzerath’s walls and roofs, which RWE is trying to clear in order to expand its energy facility.
Problem is, although coal is dirty, it is inexpensive and reliable. The infrastructure that will transport it to power stations and out of the ground is already in place and works well.
Germany is convinced that it could make the difference between business as usual or rolling blackouts in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion Ukraine.
This is why, even though it promised to close them, the country has increased the life span of some of its nuclear power plants.
Germany is not the only one.
Poland is increasing its coal production, and Bulgaria is prolonging the life of its coal mines.
To ensure supply security this winter, the UK has done similar for a number coal-fired power stations.
German riot police begin to remove activists that are preventing the expansion of coal mines
Activists condemn the appointment of the UAE Oil Chief Chair for Climate Talks
Global coal consumption reached an all-time high of 1.6 billion tonnes in 2022.
This is good news because there are many people who think this is a blip.
According to the International Energy Agency, the end result of the global energy crisis is expected to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
The report predicts that fossil fuel emissions will peak in 2025, as coal use declines over the next years and natural gas demand plateaus by the end.
Germany’s part says that it will continue to phase out coal until 2030. However, this doesn’t diminish the symbolic significance of what’s going on at Garzweiler.