Several major coal mines in eastern Germany were hit by protests on Saturday as activists criticized the German government’s climate change plans and urged an immediate coal phase-out.
Authorities said more than 1,000 people took part in the protests, which targeted the Jänschwalde and Welzow-Süd mines in the state of Brandenburg, as well as the United Schleenhain mine in the state of Saxony.
The environmental group Ende Gelände (End of the Road) put the number of protesters at 4,000. Activists blocked train tracks at some sites, seeking to disrupt the flow of coal to power plants.
“We’re at a critical moment — the window of opportunity to stop the climate crisis is closing rapidly,” Ende Gelände spokesman Johnny Parks said. The group criticized the German government’s climate action plan, saying that plans to phase out coal by 2038 did not go far enough to address the current crisis.
The energy plant at the Jänschwalde mine is considered one of the most climate-polluting in Europe — and was recently ordered by a court to scale back most operations due to a lack of environmental impact assessments.
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