Court Proposes Settlement

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Open cast mine Hambach: in-court settlement failed

Settlement on the open cast mine Hambach failed
RWE rejects proposal
Court decision until Friday

In the trial about the lignite mine Hambach on Tuesday (Nov. 21th,2017) a settlement failed. The Verwaltungsgericht (Administrative Court) of Cologne had proposed to continue the open pit without felling the forest. The judges expected a coal exit in the foreseeable future.

RWE and a representative of the Land North Rhine-Westphalia stated that this would not be feasible. The BUND as plaintiff, however, supported the settlement. Another proposal by the court, to postpone the extraction limits of the opencast mine and to save the forest from digging, was rejected. By contrast, the BUND (Federation of Environment and Nature Conservation Germany) as a plaintiff could imagine a settlement in which the old Hambach Forest would be left out. Until Friday (24.11.2017) there will now be a judgment.

Protests outside the courthouse

On Tuesday morning, about 100 opponents and supporters of the opencast mine demonstrated before the start of the trial in front of the Cologne administrative court. Several environmental groups had announced protests for the preservation of the Hambach forest.

Between 2020 and 2030 almost all trees are to be cut, in order to advance the open-pit mine as planned shortly before the village of Buir. “Then we’ll look directly into a 440 meter deep hole, where almost the entire city of Cologne fits in and that is so unimaginable crazy, well that’s just terrible,” a 50-year-old man says. With his citizens’ group “Buirers for Buir”, Andreas Büttgen supports two new claims of the BUND. He wants to save the Hambach Forest and thus stop the open pit.

Judgment on Friday 11/24 at 10 o’clock, Verwaltungsgericht Köln.
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